Taken 2

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Why yes, we did watch two movies set in Turkey right in a row. Thanks for noticing.

But could two movies be any more different. This one did not win Grand Prize at Cannes. Mostly in English. About one merciful hour shorter. Not boring at all.

In Taken, hyper-competent and deadly security consultant Dad (Liam Neeson) was on the outs with Ex-Wife (Famke Janssen) and Teenage Daughter (Maggie Grace). But Teenage Daughter was kidnapped in Paris by white slavers (honest) and was barely rescued at the last moment when Dad killed all the bad guys. That sets up the scenario of this movie, where…

Dad breaks into a little more of a sweat, as the father of one of the previous movie's corpses swears revenge on him and his family. Conveniently, the entire family is in Istanbul, where a small army of villains aims to capture them and subject them to violence and degredation. In a switch, Dad and Ex-Wife are the ones initially Taken, while Teenage Daughter escapes initial capture. She shows unexpected pluck in helping rescue Ex-Wife and Dad.

This is one of those cynical movie-studio attempts to squeeze out a few more millions by rehashing a successful formula. Still, it held my interest, and there were a few laughs as Daughter, who has yet to pass the driving test back in the US, drives madly through the crowded Istanbul streets, dodging bad-guy gunfire and dozens of cops. Reminds me of teaching Pun Daughter to drive, I thought.

Consumer note: even though Maggie Grace is playing a teenager here, she's actually nearly (as I type) 30 years old.

Last Modified 2013-06-19 1:24 PM EDT