Taken 2 is one of those movies for which there is no grey area. It’s a fast moving, flash-boom-bang shoot-’em-up action flick that is very much in the vein of Lionsgate’s recently released The Expendables 2. The only difference between that over the top sequel and this one is that more than likely 20th Century Fox will let this franchise end with the end of this movie. Is it the best sequel ever made? No. But it is a great turn off your brain flick for anyone looking to escape from the constant barrage of negative news and every day stresses thrown at audiences every day on television and in the work-a-day world. Right from the movie’s opening moments, it grabs viewers by the collar, making no bones about what to expect. Once it takes off, there is no stopping the story’s action. From gunfights to car chases and everything in between, this latest (and likely last) movie in the Taken franchise accomplishes the very goal which it set out to achieve in its short ninety-two minutes. That goal is to entertain audiences and let them enter another world, if only for a short time. For that, 20th Century Fox and all involved with this movie are to be commended. That’s especially the case in a time when audiences need an escape more than ever.
As one can hopefully already tell, Taken 2 offers exactly what action movie buffs want out of said genre. But there’s more to the movie than just the action that makes it worth at least one watch. Much like The Expendables 2 and so many other action movies, this story offers audiences a hero for whom they can cheer in Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills. All Mills wants is to finish the job that he started in the franchise’s first movie. But the thing is so do the men who took his daughter. And both sides will go to whatever lengths necessary to accomplish their goal. Being that Bryan Mills is a clearly defined archetypal hero, rooting for him is that much easier. So many of today’s movies have fewer heroes and more anti-hero figures. It’s nice to see that Bryan doesn’t fit into the latter mold. It’s one more positive to a movie that any action movie lover will appreciate.
Audiences will appreciate this movie even more now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo pack offers audiences the most in-depth experience. It offers audiences both the theatrical and unrated version of the movie along with an interesting bonus “pop-up” feature in the unrated version called “Black Ops Field Manual.” It offers extra little bits of information about plot elements of the movie. It’s sort of a director’ commentary without the commentary. There’s also a character profile of Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills courtesy of FX network. There is no bonus commentary included here. But that’s not necessarily a loss as there’s nothing extra needed to understand. This is an action movie with an easy to understand plot, period.
The movie’s bonus features add their own element of enjoyment to this fast paced action flick. In an even deeper level, there’s one more factor that makes the movie even more interesting. That factor is that while this movie is a sequel, it could just as easily succeed as a stand-alone movie. Audiences don’t necessarily need to have seen the franchise’s first movie to enjoy this one. All audiences need to know is the most basic elements of the first of the pair of movies to understand the plot for this one. Keeping this in mind, and adding in the bonus features of the Blu-ray/DVD/combo pack, Taken 2 actually turns out to be one of those rare sequels that actually turn out to be as good as the original. In the grand scheme of things, it turns out to be a sequel that’s worth at least one watch.
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