Taken 2, Olivier Megaton, 91mins (12A)
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace
"I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you." You may recall this as the tender mission statement of CIA retiree Liam Neeson in the 2008 thriller Taken, after his daughter was kidnapped in Paris by a gang of Albanian sex-traffickers.
Liam made them sorry they ever messed with him, but now the relatives of all the nogoodniks he killed have vowed vengeance and targeted him and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) while on holiday in Istanbul. So now his daughter (Maggie Grace) returns the favour and comes to the rescue, instructed via Neeson's handily concealed cellphone.
Before you can say "that's my girl" the plucky lass is playing the urban commando, chucking grenades, dodging gunmen across rooftops and tearing down the streets in a getaway car – despite having flunked her driving test. It's as preposterous as the first movie, with Neeson's humourless hardnut exhibiting the muscle and reflexes of a man half his age (he's 60).
The violence, which merited a "15" in the original, here is demoted to a "12A", though it's still exorbitant. What's odd about the film's championing of US machismo is that its star is Irish, while the writer/producer (Luc Besson) and director (Megaton) are French.
Don't the Americans do enough of their own turkeycocking without extra help from Europe?
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