First Hit: Almost as good as the original film which many follow-ons cannot claim.
With Liam Neeson getting older, I wondered if he’d be able to deliver on another intense action thriller.
As divorced CIA agent Bryan Mills, he’s about to go to Istanbul for a short 3-day protection job. Before his trip he's spending time with his daughter Kim (played by Maggie Grace) and assisting her with her driving test. He’s, as you might imagine, very controlling and deliberate.
When he goes to pick up his daughter he gets the chance to talk with his former wife Lenore (played by Famke Janssen). She is unhappy and Mills is sensitive to her unhappiness. Yes, he misses her. When he discovers she and Kim cannot go on their trip to China together, he offers them a trip to Istanbul. They take him up on his offer and that is this film's set up.
The people he killed in the previous Taken film because they stole his daughter are after him and his whole family. They are revengeful – this, for me, is the stupid part of the film. However without this revenge there is no film.
Once the killers take Mills and his wife, then the game is on and here is where Mills skills and Kim’s insistence to help her father create a way to kill the perpetrators and save their family.
The action is swift and precise and this alone makes this film come together.
Neeson is wonderful and believable as both a father and action agent. He can do both very well. Janssen was very good as his lost former wife. Grace was great as the daughter willing to help her father. Rade Serbedzija as Murad the primary perpetrator was excellent at embodying the philosophy of revenge. Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen wrote a good screenplay. Oliver Megaton directed the action in an adequate way, although the fight scenes were a little too staccato to watch to make them feel real. It is a way to hide poor action choreography.
Overall: The action was good. And as a follow-on to the original film, this one bodes well.