Take every generic scene you’d expect to see in a crappy action flick. Then take every aspect you hate about, and fear from, sub-standard sequels. Add a dose of completely irrational action sequences and you’ll have come moderately close to the absurdity of Taken 2, the most ridiculous sequel to any film franchise, ever.

This film is so ludicrous, in fact, that it doesn’t even make an effort to disguise its irrationalities, which no number of pistol-whipped Albanians could distract you from. The plot is the reverse of Taken. Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija – who you keep on thinking of as Boris the Blade ) is the father of one of the men Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) killed last time around, and is bent on revenge. Mills is now the victim and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is the one who is going to help him escape from the baddies. The film reaches the height of absurdity when he gives Kim instructions to throw a grenade out of the hotel window simply so that he can tell how far away from him she is. Screw the populated streets of Istanbul. Also, screw his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), who he leaves with a gash in her neck to the whims of the terrorists.

Even the hand to hand combat scenes are badly shot and hard to follow. The worst of these takes place in a Turkish bath house. Let it be known that the only non-comical bathroom fight that exists was pulled off by Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises. And he did it naked.

There is also a complete lack of climax. You’re told that Murad has two more sons who could possibly avenge his death. So Istanbul has been partially destroyed by a spate of murders that will begin all over again in a different country when the next sequel is forced upon us.

But what’s worse than the lazy script, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, is the addition of banal suburban scenes, which are enough to make you wish the film ended with the entire cast being successfully kidnapped and killed.

But alas, alack. The characters carry on and so must the audience. By never watching this film. This is Hollywood at its capitalist best with the only dicernible moral of the story being: don’t travel. Or you’ll die. Unless you can drive your car through the wall of an American embassy.

RATING: 3/10



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