In the initial film Taken, Bryan, the newly dutiful father, rescues his daughter from the Albanian slavers who run rampant in Paris.  They kidnapped unsuspecting girls and sold them to be auctioned off as sex slaves.

Bryan does not have much  money.  All he really has is a devotion to his daughter and certain set of skills that makes hunting down international scum a task that he is very good at doing.  Even his best friends are in the same high level security interest business.

The first film was engaging. Some the best chase scenes, stunning one-on-one fight scenes and fatherly determination made the movie a great production.  But, now on to the sequel.

All of us who love movies have a long list of disappointments when it comes to sequels.  They rarely measure up to the original.  Creating a fresh story that is related to the first blockbuster is not like following a formula that always produces a hit. 

This one is different.  Taken 2 finds Bryan taking on a high level security gig in Istanbul.  It is the perfect setting for an intriguing story.

Bryan’s ex-wife, Lenore, is in the throes of her new marriage breaking up.  Kim is growing up with a boyfriend and struggles with successfully obtaining her driver’s license.  After her estranged husband cancels a big trip to China, Lenore is broken-hearted. 

That is an opportunity for Bryan.  He invites them to join him in Turkey.  She is coy but end up surprising him when both she and Kim appear in the Istanbul hotel.

In the meantime, the father and relatives of the men that Bryan killed in Paris make a vow of vengeance.  There are a lot of them.  Using all of their connections they track Bryan and his family down in Turkey and the hunt is on.

The Romanians are ruthless.  Bryan kills a number of them but Lenore is captured and he gives up hoping to find a way to escape.  Kim follows her dad’s instructions, eludes capture and becomes a life-saving asset to her dad.

The bad guys get is in the end.  They get it “good”.  When wicked men act as base as these do, mercy is too good for them. 

As far as happy endings go, the family that Bryan almost lost is restored.  This is a satisfying sequel.  Even Kim is far less annoying this time around and even learns to parallel park.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography