In 2008, Liam Neeson played an ex-CIA agent named Bryan Mills who went absolutely ape-s&%t on a gang of Albanian sex traders to save his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) who naively got herself abducted in Paris. It was a non-stop adrenaline rush full of head smashing, shooting, chasing and secret agent trained shenanigans that we all know and love. Liam Neeson couldn’t have said it better when he told us this is him doing what he does best.
Although I must add, Liam Neeson did pack on a few over the last few years. If TV adds fifty pounds, let’s not even get started about a theatre screen. But nonetheless, he still kicks butt chasing down the rest of the Albanian gang he already didn’t kill off last time. The bad guys want their revenge, justice, whatever you want to call it. Bryan just wants this all to go away for good, and there’s no better way to get the job done than to get rid of the whole family. I was hoping to see a bit more compassion, but I guess there’s no room for that here.
As with all sequels, there’s a lot of comedy so it’d be a good idea to refresh yourself with the first film before you come out for the second. We get to see more of Bryan’s super protective daddy figure when Kim gets a boyfriend that he stalks just because he can. Imagine if you were his daughter? A phone GPS is nothing for a man who found a girl out of a city full of 2 million people within 72 hours.
But it doesn’t stop there. Bryan and his ex-wife Leonore (Famke Janssen) rekindle their love affair, if only just briefly, during their kidnapping in Istanbul. There’s a bit of cupid’s play, which obviously works, but don’t get excited because there isn’t any time for sex or other passionate scenes of affection during this wild goose run.
The real twist is the kind of amateur training Bryan gives his daughter. He calls her like last time, explaining exactly what’s going to happen. It really boggles my mind how monotone he can be in just about every situation. How do we ever know how he’s really feeling? Sorry, I digress. Last time Kim was being taken, this time mom and dad are taken. And Kim does a darn good job at locating daddy and getting herself to safety.
I was a bit disappointed about Famke Janssen’s basically unnecessary role in the film. I’m not sure why they would want to emphasize a happy family situation when on the other side they’re killing off another family. Survival of the fittest? Basically, the story doesn’t matter, get yourself a seat and ride another action-packed roller coaster.