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Jimmy Spillane, Staff Writer

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Bryan Mills returns in the sequel to Taken in order to save himself and his family from the Albanian terrorists once and for all.

Bryan Mills played by Liam Neeson must fight the gangsters from Tripoga in Istanbul at every turn. The film starts out with a picture of several coffins lined up and families putting them to rest. Murad (Rade Serbedzija), the father of one of the victims Marco swears revenge on the one who did this. The words of Murad resemble that of a grieving father.

In the meantime, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is attempting to reconnect his family by inviting his estranged ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to Istanbul during a security trip.

Bryan is an ex-CIA agent that has struggled to regain his family over the years. He has lost his wife to divorce and his daughter constantly tunes him out. At first Lenore declines the offer but then decides to surprise Bryan at the hotel with Kim.

Murad’s threats become more fact than fiction as the Albanian terrorists are lurking in the shadows waiting for Bryan and his family. Bryan and Lenore get captured immediately as they were out together and get separated from Kim. This leaves Kim to fend for herself. Kim is able to receive multiple instructions from Bryan on her cell phone. She first receives instructions on how to get away from the terrorists who have surrounded the hotel.  Kim then gets point-by-point details on how to help Bryan and find Lenore in Istanbul. This is where things get iffy in the movie, as she is able to discover exactly where Bryan’s weapons case is and where Lenore will be.

Murad wants to take Bryan and his family back to Tripoga and execute all 3 of them. He wants retribution for Marco as well as his Albanian brothers that suffered the same fate.

Much like the first “Taken,” the action and acting is superb. The endless car chases through the Istanbul marketplaces are more than enough to take your breath away. This along with the mortal combat that Neeson provides against the Albanians makes it a definitive thriller.

Liam Neeson is no rookie when it comes to superb acting but for this film series, it seems he raises up the bar a few notches.

Like Bryan famously says in the first film, “I don’t have money but what I do have is a special set of skills” and these skills will give you an hour and a half of electrifying entertainment.