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 16, 2015
    6
    Taken 2 is not a bad movie, its just not a good one. Taken 2 is just another example of trying to capitalize on the success of the original movie and sadly this film earned enough money at the box office for the third film to be released. The action in this movie is pretty good but its plot does not draw you in like the first movie did. Liam Neeson never seems venerable throughout theTaken 2 is not a bad movie, its just not a good one. Taken 2 is just another example of trying to capitalize on the success of the original movie and sadly this film earned enough money at the box office for the third film to be released. The action in this movie is pretty good but its plot does not draw you in like the first movie did. Liam Neeson never seems venerable throughout the movie. I understand that Taken is the role that earned him his reputation as an action star but I think he should continue to collaborate with director Jaume Collet-Serra like he has with Non-Stop and the new release Run All Night. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. Feb 21, 2015
    5
    Unlike the first installment, 'Taken 2' has added a lot to the negative side and has not elevated its predecessor one bit. Although the Oriental setting and the vendetta-driven plot are quite appealing, the movie actually repeats itself in a variety of ways, also adding some quite laughable moments to the whole series. Liam Neeson is still strong and Rade Šerbedžija made a perfect pair forUnlike the first installment, 'Taken 2' has added a lot to the negative side and has not elevated its predecessor one bit. Although the Oriental setting and the vendetta-driven plot are quite appealing, the movie actually repeats itself in a variety of ways, also adding some quite laughable moments to the whole series. Liam Neeson is still strong and Rade Šerbedžija made a perfect pair for him, although the acting does keep a certain level of quality. With most of the complaints going towards the screenwriters, 'Taken 2' is a watchable action movie and, sadly, nothing more. Expand
  6. Feb 1, 2015
    6
    Although not as engaging as the first one, Taken 2 is more of the same, in a good way. Fans of the original will definitely be pleased with this sequel that is far better than it has any right to be.

    However, there are some things that drag it down a bit. The biggest problem is the director, Olivier Megaton, who shouldn't be allowed to make movies. Him and the editor can't just let the
    Although not as engaging as the first one, Taken 2 is more of the same, in a good way. Fans of the original will definitely be pleased with this sequel that is far better than it has any right to be.

    However, there are some things that drag it down a bit. The biggest problem is the director, Olivier Megaton, who shouldn't be allowed to make movies. Him and the editor can't just let the shot be and let the actors act. Every .5 seconds, the frame changes, and by the end of the scene it feels like a workout, not to mention strain on the eyes. Another issue that I'm sure has offended many Istanbul residents is that the director and screenplay assumes that Turkey is a Muslim state. Every woman is seen covered in black, and all the men have beards like Pilgrims. It is to be noted that not all of Istanbul is like this, and the movie narrows in on this fact too much.

    Overall, Taken 2 is a pretty good sequel, considering how they could've screwed this up. The plot angle isn't the most original, but it will do. I'm just not looking forward to seeing Taken 3, by the same misguided director.
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  7. 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
  8. Jan 5, 2015
    7
    The start of this series was very promising when talking about the first movie (Taken.) I also think that this was kind presumed of who a would get kidnapped and what would happen after watching the first and hearing that there would be a second. Overall its a good movie that you need to see for yourself to understand how good it is.
  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Oct 4, 2014
    6
    This movie is way worse than the original. The plot was super weak. The action sequences were well done but that's about it. Hopefully Taken 3 will be better.
  12. Sep 2, 2014
    5
    Taken 2 takes everything we loved from the original film and... does it again. I will admit portions were fresh and still riveting. Regardless, this sequel falls in the shadows of its precursor.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. Dec 23, 2013
    5
    This movie was disappointed. I can't believe that I was pulled from solving Mathematical equations to go and watch this. This movie needed more and a proper finish.
  16. Dec 21, 2013
    7
    Cliché, predictable, short and simple. If someone asked "What is the definition of a standard American movie?" it would be this. But make no mistake; despite being a carbon copy of just about everything, it still delivers. It achieves what it set out to do. No, it's not a Bourne film nor is it trying to be. The thing about Taken and Taken 2 is how they take a very basic background andCliché, predictable, short and simple. If someone asked "What is the definition of a standard American movie?" it would be this. But make no mistake; despite being a carbon copy of just about everything, it still delivers. It achieves what it set out to do. No, it's not a Bourne film nor is it trying to be. The thing about Taken and Taken 2 is how they take a very basic background and make it come to life. Sure, there's nothing out of the ordinary or new or surprising. But to be honest, it's not always a bad thing. Taken 2 has action, it has suspense and it genuinely delivers a very intense 89 minutes. It's one of those films where you lean forward if you know what I mean. I wouldn't say it improves on the original, but is just as good. Expand
  17. Nov 9, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Taken 2 is worth watching, but for most who watched the original it`s going to disappoint.I like how the bad guys are related to the ones in Taken 1, but wish they just let the wife and daughter get kidnapped instead of mother, and husband. I would find it much more fun if he was tracking them down the whole movie, trying to find them, than taking care of business. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. Sep 8, 2013
    6
    A well shot film making full use of its surroundings, Istanbul in this case. Well paced with the level action keeping the adrenalin pumping almost from the start. The performances were all very good although I felt nobody was particularly stretched. Liam Neeson was his usual self as Bryan Mills, Maggie Grace was good as daughter Kim, as was Famke Janssen as wife Lenore. Also worthy of noteA well shot film making full use of its surroundings, Istanbul in this case. Well paced with the level action keeping the adrenalin pumping almost from the start. The performances were all very good although I felt nobody was particularly stretched. Liam Neeson was his usual self as Bryan Mills, Maggie Grace was good as daughter Kim, as was Famke Janssen as wife Lenore. Also worthy of note was Rade Serbedzija as major bad guy, Murad Krasniqi. It was ok as a piece of entertainment but I felt it didn’t do anything the first film didn’t. You usually expect a sequel to expand on the story of the first but this one virtually told the same story but with a couple of alterations. It seemed like the studio (Fox) were just out to cash in on the success of the first one. I’m just glad I didn’t go and watch it in a cinema but still, if you want entertainment that won’t stretch the little grey cells to much, then this is the one for you.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)

    My score: 6.3/10.
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  20. 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.
  21. Jun 4, 2013
    5
    "While i have the utmost respect for Liam Neeson & he truly is a badass. But Taken 2 truly is mess. Its basically a re-hash of the first outing and is nowhere near as entertaining either. I'm going to say Rent It just because i loved the first one so much" C
  22. 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.
  23. May 19, 2013
    6
    Why not make a sequel to one of the surprises of 2008? There's plenty more happening in the second outing for Bryan Mills, the retired CIA man who is obsessive, vigilant and on time precisely to the minute he said he would be.
    But what the films premise does is bring an idea which so many other films leave out of the occasion, all the bad guys that are gunned down yet nobody seems to care
    Why not make a sequel to one of the surprises of 2008? There's plenty more happening in the second outing for Bryan Mills, the retired CIA man who is obsessive, vigilant and on time precisely to the minute he said he would be.
    But what the films premise does is bring an idea which so many other films leave out of the occasion, all the bad guys that are gunned down yet nobody seems to care about them? Incorrect in Taken 2. A mass funeral is being held for the unfortunate men who crossed Bryan in the first film, and revenge is on the agenda for the families of those he killed. But back in LA, Bryan is steadily moving closer to his ex- wife Lenore, played again by the beautiful Famke Janssen, while also continuing his overbearing but respected father routine to Kim Maggie Grace).
    When he invites the two of them to Istanbul while he guards a Sheik, things take a turn when Bryan and Lenore are are out. Through careful instructions to his eventually safe daughter, he manages to work out where he and his ex-wife are being held, the process by which he does this may raise a few eyebrows..but it's quite a cleverly constructed scene that certainly gets all the characters more involved in this sequel.
    No, it isn't as good as the first, but saying that it shouldn't entirely be viewed as a sequel, each character is given more involvement in this film to the point where it isn't entirely necessary to have seen the first, this perhaps may be a good thing because this isn't as engaging or surprising, we already know what lengths Bryan will go to, we know what he is capable of and quite frankly we don't see this sort of side to him in this film.
    It's not so much a remake but maybe even a continuation without actually being a sequel. The same sort of edginess is gone and replaced with an array of doubling back efforts and countless chases, the emotional depth from the plot of the first film involving Kim being sold as a prostitute is gone, we no longer need to feel for these characters but just seem to be lead to enjoy the film without thinking about it.
    Still a decent action flick with plenty to smile and talk about, but the film ultimately doesn't reach the surprising heights its predecessor did, much of the flare is gone, but again, worth a look anyway.
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  24. May 17, 2013
    7
    I'm a huge Liam Neeson fan, and a huge fan of the first Taken. Despite this I wasn't sure that a sequel to Taken would turn out good. First of all a sequel was unnecessary, and movies that get unnecessary sequels (The Hangover, The Mummy) usually suffer in the long run because the sequels never live up to the original movie. Well turns out I was right, Taken 2 never lives up to the firstI'm a huge Liam Neeson fan, and a huge fan of the first Taken. Despite this I wasn't sure that a sequel to Taken would turn out good. First of all a sequel was unnecessary, and movies that get unnecessary sequels (The Hangover, The Mummy) usually suffer in the long run because the sequels never live up to the original movie. Well turns out I was right, Taken 2 never lives up to the first movie and just feels unnecessary. But that doesn't mean that the movie isn't enjoyable. It's a decent action flick and it will keep you watching to the end, but you'll notice that it lacks the punch and originality that the first movie had. In the end I enjoyed the movie even though it felt like a generic action flick with a spectacular cast. In closing I just want to say this to whoever is in charge of these kinds of things, do NOT make a Taken 3. You got lucky this time but don't push your luck with a 3rd movie. Expand
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Mar 3, 2013
    7
    Almost as good as the first one. I was surprised at how good it was and how well it lived up to Taken 1's standards. Hopefully their's not a third one because that would probabaly ruin it all.
  30. Feb 23, 2013
    5
    an obvious money grab of a movie. The plot meanders to a point where the flick is simply not believable. The action scenes and pace of the movie are enjoyable.
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.