Taken 2 Is The Heartwarming Family Movie Of The Year

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Going into the screening of Taken 2, I was fairly certain I’d essentially be seeing a remake. In fact, we jokingly referred to the film as “Taken Again” in the office. Regardless, I  was excited. I mean, how can you go wrong with Liam Neeson?  The first one was so exhilarating I thought I was at least in for some serious action. Well boy was I surprised! While  Taken 2 is an action movie about seeking revenge, it’s really a heartwarming tale about family, love, loyalty and friendship. (Warning, some spoilers.)

Taken 2 picks up a year after ex – CIA agent Bryan Mills saved his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace, who I must say is excellent in this movie) from human-trafficking Albanians the first time she was Taken. This time around though, he’s dealing with a much bigger issue: teaching his daughter how to pass her road test after failing three times. (It’s okay Kim, everyone’s been there.)  He also teaches her a million other things throughout the movie, like how to find someone who’s been taken. One of the most adorable moments of the film was watching Bryan Mills handle meeting Kim’s boyfriend, Jamie (played Luke Grimes who you may recognize from Brothers and Sisters). This is never easy for dads, so family members will definitely sympathize.

In addition to building a better relationship with his daughter, Bryan is also trying to reconnect with his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) who recently separated from her husband. I love this. After the first movie I was wondering why they were no longer together. Bryan is clearly a stud devoted husband and father – what’s not to love?!

The movie really picks up when Lenore and Kim decide to surprise Bryan in Istanbul, which ends up being a really beautiful family vacation. I mean sure, they get stalked and kidnapped by Albanians seeking revenge, but that’s nothing an ex-cia agent can't handle. And, even though the Albanians are the villains, it’s only because they’re heartbroken over the loss of their family and friends – ya know, the ones that were killed by Liam Neeson, but only because they kidnapped Kim! Even head-honcho kidnapper Murad (played by Rade Serbedzija) and Liam Neeson share a touching moment as they cry over their tortured children. Yeah, Liam is tied up, but again, not the point. What’s important is their undying belief in family, loyalty, and love. Aww.

In the end the trip really brings the family back together – possibly even reuniting Lenore with Bryan. To further solidify the picture perfect image of americana, the movie ends over shared strawberry and chocolate milkshakes! I left the theater feeling completely secure in what’s important in life, and with the belief that if I were to ever go missing, as long as I was a decent driver and had a good family values I’d survive.

If you want to see an action-packed, heartwarming family movie, go see Taken 2 which is in theaters today. Remember, if you ever go missing…

(Photo: WENN / Gif: Tumblr.com)