In the first Taken the story was simple: Liam Neeson's character Bryan Mills' daughter is captured, and he heads off to France to rescue her. In Taken 2 the various pieces have changed - it's Mills ex-wife that is kidnapped, and Istanbul serves as the setting - but the goal has stayed the same: recover his "taken" loved one by any means necessary.
In addition to a new setting and problem, Neeson must match wits with a new foe, played by Rade Serbedzija. Serbedzija's character Murad - who lost his son whilst Neeson's character was on his first recovery mission - wants Bryan to share in his pain, and so puts in motion a plan to capture and kill all three members of his family - a plan that obviously doesn't go over well with Mills. In a new featurette for Taken 2, Neeson elaborates on his character's drive, the relatability of the story, and what he is willing to do to recover his ex-wife.
An important element of the series that Neeson hones in on is the idea that this man, who has been put through so much, has become a machine. In Taken we saw how far Mills was willing to go to just to get information about his daughter Kim's whereabouts, and in the sequel he appears to have pushed his limits even further.
It's a relatable story – going to extremes for one's family – and that, Neeson feels, is the real appeal of these Taken films. Audiences might say it's the chance to see Liam Neeson serve up his signature brand of vengeance that brings them to the theater, but that's a debatable issue.
In addition to the brief interview with Neeson, the featurette includes several new looks at the film's various action scenes. As expected director Olivier Megaton (Colombiana) seeks to ramp up every element from the first film, but also keep the focus on the character of Bryan Mills.
There's a few more bombastic action sequences this time around, a byproduct of a bigger budget and fan base, but the hand-to-hand combat that sold audiences the first time around appears to be in top form.
Though, if producer Luc Besson is looking to turn Taken into a franchise, where Mills must constantly try and save another member of his family, that might test our patience - and, more importantly, our suspension of disbelief. But for now the sequel looks to be a fun return to form for Neeson, and a chance for the first film's supporting actors (like Famke Janssen) to play larger roles.
Taken 2 hits theaters on October 5, 2012.
Source: 20th Century FOX