User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 278 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 63 out of 278

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  1. Apr 28, 2015
    2
    When Taken hit screens in 2008, it benefitted from the shock of the new. Not that its content looked particularly novel. Executive producer and co-writer Luc Besson had already spent a couple of decades turning out serviceable-or-better Eurothrillers made in the model he helped create with films like La Femme Nikita. The shock came from the star doing the Eurothrilling: Liam Neeson, anWhen Taken hit screens in 2008, it benefitted from the shock of the new. Not that its content looked particularly novel. Executive producer and co-writer Luc Besson had already spent a couple of decades turning out serviceable-or-better Eurothrillers made in the model he helped create with films like La Femme Nikita. The shock came from the star doing the Eurothrilling: Liam Neeson, an actor of the first order, known for exuding introspective gentleness. Neeson was the last person most would think to cast as a pitiless killing machine, but there he was, carving his way through the Paris underworld in search of his suspiciously mature-looking teenage daughter (Maggie Grace), who’d been abducted by the sex slavers who apparently run rampant in the City Of Light.

    Part of what makes Taken so entertaining, albeit sometimes unintentionally, is the way it portrays Europe as a pit of sin filled with snares for unsuspecting American innocents abroad. (Kind of like a Henry James novel, but with a lot more forced prostitution.) The rest of its appeal comes from the unapologetic simplicity of its plot, its propulsive pace, and the way Neeson took to both, bringing unsmiling gravity to what could have been a dull role. Since then, the shock has worn off. Neeson continued to explore the action world in films that are striking (The Grey), dull (Unknown), or perfunctory (The A-Team). This, it seems, is what Neeson does now, and his return to his Taken role offers few surprises.

    The film also lacks the efficiency and relentlessness of the original. Back in the States and mending fences with ex-wife Famke Janssen and Grace, Neeson seems more worried about his daughter’s dating habits than the possibility of the Albanian father of one of the first film’s villains targeting him for revenge. That, it turns out, is a mistake, as is Janssen and Grace’s decision to join Neeson in Istanbul, where he has a few days to himself after finishing a security detail. What begins as a family outing, with a hint of rekindled romance between the parents, devolves into kidnapping (the word “taken” gets thrown about liberally), torture, high-speed chases, and other misadventures probably not smiled upon by the Turkish Board Of Tourism.

    None of it is particularly novel or exciting. Stepping in for Pierre Morel, Olivier Megaton (The Transporter 3) brings a workmanlike, mostly coherent approach to the action scenes, and there’s a clever sequence in which Neeson helps Grace find him through a crude form of echolocation involving a map, a felt-tip pen, and some hand grenades. The only real innovation is in making Neeson’s adventure a family affair, but that mostly involves making him bark driving instructions at Grace as they tear through Istanbul’s obstacle-strewn, chase-friendly streets. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Besson machine, distinguished only by the star working the levers. Neeson’s Jason Statham-ization continues apace, but it’s looking less and less like a welcome development.
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  2. Apr 22, 2015
    2
    In the surprise 2009 box-office smash “Taken,’’ Liam Neeson played a retired CIA operative who rescues his teenage daughter from Albanian white slavers and then goes all Mel Gibson on the culprits.
    In the inevitable — if far less exciting and vastly sillier — sequel, Neeson quickly loses the daughter (Maggie Grace, clearly pushing 30 in real life) again on a trip to Istanbul, where life
    In the surprise 2009 box-office smash “Taken,’’ Liam Neeson played a retired CIA operative who rescues his teenage daughter from Albanian white slavers and then goes all Mel Gibson on the culprits.
    In the inevitable — if far less exciting and vastly sillier — sequel, Neeson quickly loses the daughter (Maggie Grace, clearly pushing 30 in real life) again on a trip to Istanbul, where life is cheap and the movie production subsidies are generous.
    A bunch of Albanians (led by Rade Serbedzija) want revenge on Neeson for killing and torturing their relatives in the first film.
    At various points they also kidnap Neeson and Neeson’s estranged wife (Famke Janssen, whose double spends most of the movie with a sack on her head).
    But these truly inept killers never manage to hold onto the entire clan at the same time.
    In the interest of advancing the plot, the idiotic bad guys conveniently ignore barking dogs and other warning signs that Neeson or the daughter are approaching, as well as the miniature cellphone Neeson uses to repeatedly communicate with the daughter while in captivity.
    “Act casually,’’ he advises her in a truly hilarious sequence — sending the young woman out to toss grenades off Turkish rooftops so he can use the sound of the explosions to help direct her to where he’s being held.
    There are other indications that screenwriters Robert Mark Kamen (“The Karate Kid’’) and Luc Besson (who also produced this one) didn’t necessarily want the audience to take “Taken 2’’ as seriously as, say, “Taken.’’
    Like when the daughter — who has failed her driving test back in California twice — takes the wheel in a high-speed chase through narrow twisting streets to elude the killers, while dad is directing her to ignore scurrying pedestrians.
    This sort of approach has diminishing returns in an alleged thriller: There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot at stake in a movie where you can crash your way through the armed barricades at the American embassy with a stolen taxicab and survive without a scratch.
    Four years ago, there was novelty value in seeing an actor with Neeson’s gravitas turning mad action hero. But Neeson’s done it several times since, with diminishing returns, in other paycheck jobs.
    Olivier Megaton, the wonderfully named Besson protégé who directed, stages action sequences clumsily and edits them so frantically it looks like the whole movie was run through a Cuisinart.
    When Neeson engages in bare-knuckle fisticuffs at the climax of the cartoonish “Taken 2,’’ I honestly couldn’t figure out if the 60-year-old actor was actually present at all except for the close-ups.

    It's Rubbish.
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  3. Mar 12, 2015
    3
    Retreading the first movie minus the finesse, the generic action revenge tale Taken 2 is a dull and boring affair. Even Liam Neeson can't save the movie this time.
  4. Jan 7, 2015
    4
    Taken 2 may not be as bad as some people have made it out to be but it is a serious downgrade from the original. i may have asked for a bigger villain and while it does deliver he and his team are really stupid villains and feel completely implausible. the action sequences aren't great and the plot doesn't have the same weight of dread the first did and even succumbs to a few plot holesTaken 2 may not be as bad as some people have made it out to be but it is a serious downgrade from the original. i may have asked for a bigger villain and while it does deliver he and his team are really stupid villains and feel completely implausible. the action sequences aren't great and the plot doesn't have the same weight of dread the first did and even succumbs to a few plot holes when it isn't lazily repeating the first film Expand
  5. Dec 16, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I enjoyed the first Taken movie quite a lot. It had energetic action, fine performances and an intensely entertaining story, BUT, the plot was simple. So it comes as a surprise that there is a sequel to that movie, and boy, what a bland movie seriously. Everything that it was good about the first film is no longer here, other than a typically solid performance from Liam Neeson.

    The retired CIA agent Bryan Mills invites his teenage daughter Kim and his ex-wife Lenore, who has separated from her second husband, to spend a couple of days in Istanbul where he is working. Meanwhile, the patriarch of the community of the Albanian gang of human trafficking, Murad Krasniqi, seeks revenge for the death of his son and organizes another gang to kidnap Bryan and his family. Bryan and Lenore are abducted by the Albanians, but Kim escapes and is the only hope that Bryan has to escape and save Lenore.

    I have to give this movie credit that it's entertaining to some extent, but like I said in my reviews (if you don't read my reviews, please go check it out, they're pretty accurate), a movie being "entertaining" is not enough to fulfill a moviegoer's expectation. In fact, after seeing this movie, I felt... nothing. The movie is so empty and so incoherent that makes me feel nothing. You don't know if the movie has a final act because it's basically this: The guy kidnaps his wife, 5 minutes later Liam Neeson finds her, kills the goons and rescues her. That's it? Nothing else? Pfff. And look, if you wanna go see this movie just because of the villain, you might wanna rethink about it because the antagonist is so underdeveloped. Honestly, I could describe the villain completely in 5 words: A guy who wants revenge.

    If you enjoyed the first one, I'm pretty sure you'll hate this one because even the action here becomes repetitive therefore, dull. Liam Neeson does his best but he can't save this utter crap from an incoherently empty story, monotonous action and an underwritten villain. God, this movie does suck.

    Next Taken movie: The villain's son arrives to kill Liam Neeson by stealing his toothpaste.
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  6. Oct 8, 2014
    0
    This may be the worst sequel ever made...everything that made the first movie good like the gritty realism in the hand to hand fighting, and the short and sweet gunfights that weren't over the top and essential turned the film into a polar opposite of itself...of course now the studio assumes anything liam neeson will do is gold, they were wrong..
    Now i can't tell if he cares more about
    This may be the worst sequel ever made...everything that made the first movie good like the gritty realism in the hand to hand fighting, and the short and sweet gunfights that weren't over the top and essential turned the film into a polar opposite of itself...of course now the studio assumes anything liam neeson will do is gold, they were wrong..
    Now i can't tell if he cares more about getting his ex wife Back or his daughters driving lessons..
    sigh... its hard to accurately sum up all the misfires in this movie becuase the entire film feels forced...nothing is believeable and by the end you don't care who lives or dies Collaps
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  7. Feb 14, 2014
    3
    Not nearly as enjoyable and thrilling as the first film. It seems like the addition sequel was unnecessary and pointless. Not on every aspect of the film though.
  8. Jan 18, 2014
    3
    This is a lazy, shallow and boring sequel to the original impressive Taken. The entire film is filled with nothing but pure shooting and killing which, to be honest, can't be compared to any of Steven Seagal's action movies. The heart-touching element that made Taken successful was completely missing in Taken 2, which obviously led to a total disgraceful failure that no one should everThis is a lazy, shallow and boring sequel to the original impressive Taken. The entire film is filled with nothing but pure shooting and killing which, to be honest, can't be compared to any of Steven Seagal's action movies. The heart-touching element that made Taken successful was completely missing in Taken 2, which obviously led to a total disgraceful failure that no one should ever wasted time on. Expand
  9. Oct 18, 2013
    3
    About 40 minutes into this film I was presented with an unexpected but not entirely unwelcome choice: I could either carry on with the film or start watching my old fart of a neighbour paint his decking through my living room window. Steve went for a 'rich teak' Ronseal coat. No regrets.
  10. Jun 25, 2013
    2
    I went expecting smart, original and new storytelling, with epic action sequences and suspense, but what I got was Taken repeating itself in Taken 2, there is some clever parts, but it can't rescue the movie from falling apart.
  11. May 27, 2013
    0
    I dislike almost all his movies, The Grey, Taken, Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, Battleship Unknown The A-Team, The Dark Knight Rises, The Chronicles of Narnia 1,2,3.
  12. May 7, 2013
    3
    Taken 2 is unbelievably disappointing. It starts out promisingly; the hero is just as likable as in first film and the new villain has a sensible, efficient motivation. Unfortunately, the film goes badly wrong when the action starts. The fights and car chases that follow are all generic and unexciting. Worse still, some of the logic in the movie is stupefying... A girl without a driver'sTaken 2 is unbelievably disappointing. It starts out promisingly; the hero is just as likable as in first film and the new villain has a sensible, efficient motivation. Unfortunately, the film goes badly wrong when the action starts. The fights and car chases that follow are all generic and unexciting. Worse still, some of the logic in the movie is stupefying... A girl without a driver's license can suddenly drive like Jason Bourne, repeatedly setting off grenades in a metropolitan area does no damage and alerts minimal security and apparently, driving through a US embassy checkpoint at high speed, thus causing soldiers to open fire warrants no detention or subsequent investigation. What a total mess of a movie! The first one was classic. This one is utter jank. Expand
  13. Apr 27, 2013
    4
    Not only this sequel is unnecessary, it lacks all that which made the original outstanding. What was the original Taken about in the first place? It was about Liam Neeson kicking some serious ass in a very realistic and believable way. Here it seems like it's not Neeson himself, but his double or something. The fight scenes are awkward, poorly staged and feature an honest-to-god awfulNot only this sequel is unnecessary, it lacks all that which made the original outstanding. What was the original Taken about in the first place? It was about Liam Neeson kicking some serious ass in a very realistic and believable way. Here it seems like it's not Neeson himself, but his double or something. The fight scenes are awkward, poorly staged and feature an honest-to-god awful operator job, where you can''t really make out a single freaking thing. What's more, the dialogues are stupid and (in my opinion, at least) poorly acted out. The final nails in the coffin are bloody disgusting CG effects (I almost vomited at that car explosion) and the dumbass main villain. The thing is, the answer to this quality drop is quite obvious the director changed. Now it's Olivier Megaton, the f**khead who brought us Transporter-3, it makes sense. So please, if there'll be yet another unwanted sequel, either make it straight-to-DVD so I won't even hear of it or return Pierre Morel to the director's seat. Expand
  14. Apr 9, 2013
    4
    Well, you know, the first was great, but as usual sequels go on, this movie got me to think at one time "Does this even have a point?". It was kind of stupid, honestly, but because of the action sequences it brings, I'm gonna give it a 4, not to give it the red label.
  15. Mar 10, 2013
    3
    I found this film to be just stupid. From the grenade throwing to the driving scenes to the pointless villains, there needed to be a different script. Liam Neeson is still good here, but I could have done with less of the family.
  16. Jan 24, 2013
    3
    Taken 2 is a sequel that ignored everything that was so much fun about the first movie, and decided to be a predictable waste of cash. I was a big fan of the first film because it was simple entertainment and Liam Neeson was perfect for the role, but now they have done the exact same thing all over again, but now he has brought his ex-wife into the mix. When I first heard they were goingTaken 2 is a sequel that ignored everything that was so much fun about the first movie, and decided to be a predictable waste of cash. I was a big fan of the first film because it was simple entertainment and Liam Neeson was perfect for the role, but now they have done the exact same thing all over again, but now he has brought his ex-wife into the mix. When I first heard they were going to make a sequel to Taken I was kind of excited because I hoped they would make it as fun as the first one, but sadly I was wrong. It does give some fun action scenes and Liam Neeson is still great in the role, but it does not make up for its pathetic story that was just an excuse to make some cash off the entertaining first movie. I mean we all have seen sequels that Hollywood only made to earn some cash, but here we see a movie that took absolutely no effort to write or think about. I think the writers just said "how can we take a fun movie and make a sequel that has no reason to exist" and they created this dull and lazy sequel. I didn't enjoy this sequel, and it depresses me that they took away everything that I loved about the first movie. Expand
  17. Jan 23, 2013
    3
    To be fair, when I heard there was going to be a second Taken I was very skeptical. Taken was a great film, but Taken 2? One of the worst experiences of sitting through a movie I have witnessed. Not only is the story line boring, and a little stupid, but it rushes and before I knew it we were at the end of the movie. I didn't find myself understanding the motive behind kidnapping Neeson'sTo be fair, when I heard there was going to be a second Taken I was very skeptical. Taken was a great film, but Taken 2? One of the worst experiences of sitting through a movie I have witnessed. Not only is the story line boring, and a little stupid, but it rushes and before I knew it we were at the end of the movie. I didn't find myself understanding the motive behind kidnapping Neeson's ex-wife in the film played by Famke Janssen. Yeah, okay, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) killed your son, but your son also kidnapped numerous American female tourists and forced them into prostitution. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. On top of this the acting performances were putrid at best. The only thing I can appraise is Taken 2's use of Mills', "specific skills," along with with the small action based scenes. This movie was clearly made for profit, but they should have put some quality work into it is all that I'm saying. Collapse
  18. Jan 14, 2013
    2
    some movies just can't have sequels. other then the amazing Liam Neeson acting and Istanbul, every thing else is just so ridiculously crap. story line and plot so predictable. especially if you have watched the first one Taken, which was a good average movie, then this would be extremely difficult to watch.
  19. Jan 6, 2013
    1
    Why! It was a great movie, why ruin it with this piece of **** Only the acting is good! Nothing else, not all sequels are good sometimes terrible follow great! This is one of great to terrible, two thumbs down!
  20. Dec 31, 2012
    2
    Be prepared for complete nonsense. The girl is not skillful enough a drive to get a driver's license in the US, yet towards the end she hops in a stick stick shift cab and is the world's best getaway driver. Liam Neeson is detained and cuffed but left alone for hours to find himself away out while guiding his daughter towards him with using a cellphone he had because he was not strippedBe prepared for complete nonsense. The girl is not skillful enough a drive to get a driver's license in the US, yet towards the end she hops in a stick stick shift cab and is the world's best getaway driver. Liam Neeson is detained and cuffed but left alone for hours to find himself away out while guiding his daughter towards him with using a cellphone he had because he was not stripped searched. Albanian's conversing exclusively in English. Grenades being thrown out of hotels and no police response whatsoever. The direction and editing is similarly terrible, the overuse of shaky-cam unbearable Expand
  21. Dec 26, 2012
    1
    Let's talk more generally about the trend in Luc Besson's films, in particular those written with Robert Mark Kamen. They are going downhill fast -- and faster. It's one thing to have a sequel here or there, and another to mail it in as RMK is doing.
  22. Dec 24, 2012
    0
    Everything that made the first film so good in gone. The writing is terrible, The acting is awful (Liam Neeson being the only good one), and it was incredibly corny and stupid. Not worth watching at all imo.
  23. Nov 12, 2012
    3
    Where as the first one succeeds in keeping you at the edge of your seat as you are watching a race against the time and have no idea where the movie will be going next, part 2 is predictable, over the top, run of the mill sequel that fails much more often then it succeeds. Favorite bit from the movie - daughter is struggling trying to get her licence. 2 weeks later she is racing like aWhere as the first one succeeds in keeping you at the edge of your seat as you are watching a race against the time and have no idea where the movie will be going next, part 2 is predictable, over the top, run of the mill sequel that fails much more often then it succeeds. Favorite bit from the movie - daughter is struggling trying to get her licence. 2 weeks later she is racing like a maniac through narrow streets of Istanbul in a Mercedes with a manual. Expand
  24. Nov 12, 2012
    3
    Heart-breakingly bad. 'Taken' wasn't meant to have a sequel for a reason, and this is it.
  25. Nov 12, 2012
    4
    The whole time I was watching this movie I was waiting for the next big action scene. All I saw was a bunch of Liam Neeson chasing around his ex wife. An extremely disappointing sequel to a movie I really enjoyed.
  26. Nov 5, 2012
    4
    Taken 2 is not really a movie were you need a sequel. For me its a one liner. Its like making Titanic 2!? It runs out in cliches and do the same stuff he does in the first part. Its a okay action movie. If you can get the dvd for 5$, do it and watch it. But i don't think you'll watch it a multiple times.
  27. Oct 17, 2012
    3
    I went into this movie expecting a brainless but fun action film. Well all i got was brainless. This movie wasn't even fun. I'm a big Liam Neeson fan, especially when hes kicking ass and honestly the action sucked in this sequel to the overrated but fun first entry into the series. I even think im being generous giving it a 3. I'm not one to look for believability in a movie like taken 2I went into this movie expecting a brainless but fun action film. Well all i got was brainless. This movie wasn't even fun. I'm a big Liam Neeson fan, especially when hes kicking ass and honestly the action sucked in this sequel to the overrated but fun first entry into the series. I even think im being generous giving it a 3. I'm not one to look for believability in a movie like taken 2 but come on, some of the crap was unbearable. The daughters using fregen grenades and nobody in istanbul seems to give a crap like chicks chuck grenades around the city on a daily basis, and how the daughter who keep in mind has failed her road test 3 times as was mentioned earlier in the film, all of a sudden becomes the worlds best getaway driver in this seemingly indestrcutible taxi that no matter what it crashes into there will never be a scratch on it. It was just unbearable. I'll give it a 3/10 which is definitely being more than generous, don't waste your time or hard-earned money! Expand
  28. Oct 16, 2012
    2
    This movie is appalling. From the opening credits you can tell it's going to be terrible, acting seems extremely forced and at times very cringe-worthy. Too many close-ups of the daughter's cleavage and bum thrown in for no reason. Product placement is beyond un-subtle and the story is just laughable. The ending is also terrible and the music general action nonsense lacking the emotionalThis movie is appalling. From the opening credits you can tell it's going to be terrible, acting seems extremely forced and at times very cringe-worthy. Too many close-ups of the daughter's cleavage and bum thrown in for no reason. Product placement is beyond un-subtle and the story is just laughable. The ending is also terrible and the music general action nonsense lacking the emotional punch of the first. Basically, a great movie has been ruined by a simply terrible sequel simply to cash in on our love for the first. Expand
  29. Oct 8, 2012
    0
    This film did ok for the actors but for a movie that had a succesful rating for the first film this was dissapointing. the diretors and writers of this film did well with the location and scrips but as soon as the film started to pick up all u can expect is a relax in your chairs and not at all close to a thriller. this film for me personally was not worth the money i spent.
  30. Oct 7, 2012
    2
    Great acting and casting BUT it still managed to be the biggest disappointed so far. Taken is a kind of movie that don't need a sequel. Oh well, I guess they wanted to milk the cash cow. The biggest problem was with the story. Why would the enemies go after him and his family AGAIN? I mean didn't they already learn their lesson from the first film. The way the action sequences were editedGreat acting and casting BUT it still managed to be the biggest disappointed so far. Taken is a kind of movie that don't need a sequel. Oh well, I guess they wanted to milk the cash cow. The biggest problem was with the story. Why would the enemies go after him and his family AGAIN? I mean didn't they already learn their lesson from the first film. The way the action sequences were edited was terrible. You couldn't tell who was punching whom and who was getting hit. Every half a second they would cut to another shot. It was painful to watch. Stay away from Taken 2. Expand
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 35
  2. Negative: 8 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 8, 2012
    70
    Somehow Neeson makes the ridiculous plausible. A mature, real man in an era of superhero fantasy, he radiates something rare in movie musclemen: a haunted gravity to match his outsize physique.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Oct 7, 2012
    63
    The first half of Taken 2 is a serviceable action flick, but the second half descends into cliches.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 6, 2012
    30
    Luc Besson and Liam Neeson and the rest of the furriners who made the inept and offensive Taken 2 don't seem to have gotten the memo from Jason Bourne: Americans don't think our spooks are good guys anymore.