When “Taken” first hit theaters, star Liam Neeson was an aging leading man dabbling in shoot ’em up heroics.
Now, after a series of bone-rattling features like “Clash of the Titans, “The Grey” and “Unknown,” he’s an unabashed action hero at the not so tender age of 60.
Which brings us to “Taken 2,” the unavoidable sequel to the 2008 smash. The new film revisits the father-daughter bond between a retired CIA operative (Neeson) and his fetching daughter (Maggie Grace).
This time around, family members of the men Bryan Mills (Neeson) dispatched so efficiently in the first film want revenge, and they’re more than willing to use Mills’ nuclear family as bait. That means another Mills gets the proverbial bag over the head treatment, but this time it’s Famke Janssen’s turn to suffer.
The trailer serves up boilerplate action thrills, but few do it better than Neeson. He’s tall, rugged and believable as a one-man pain dispensary. He’s also a talented actor who doesn’t need to flash six pack abs to convince us he’s a hero.
The original “Taken” gave us one scene for the ages – Bryan carefully talking his daughter through the start of her kidnapping ordeal. It’s unlikely the sequel will deliver anything close to that powder keg of a sequence, but the trailer indicates the film producers aren’t mussing with the formula one lick.