Taken 2: 5 Reasons It Didn't Cut The Mustard

Taken 2 Despite lukewarm critical reviews, the original Taken - which saw Liam Neeson in an unlikely action hero role - was embraced by audiences as an exciting, cathartic exercise in pure no-brains revenge cinema. Tight, simply plotted, relentless in its depictions of bloody violence (made even bloodier when the DVD hit shelves with an 18 rating), Taken was the guilty pleasure that didn't make you feel so guilty. Cinephiles would probably agree that it isn't a great film by any means, but as a highly enjoyable genre movie, it really hit the spot. So 5 years later, with Taken now firmly established as a modern cult classic, the sequel emerges. For any fan of the original flick, that's an exciting prospect: Neeson back on the streets of Europe with that same straight-faced sense of vengeance and "a very particular set of skills." And yet, Taken 2, though a fair and relatively enjoyable action movie, is utterly generic in every inch of its makeup. Here's what went wrong...

5. Lack Of Solid Action Sequences

Once Liam Neeson got going in the original flick, there was no stopping him. Like a gigantic hurricane of pissed-off fury, he moved from one location to the next, taking names, leaving a trail of death and destruction on every street he happened to stomp upon. He wanted his daughter, and nobody (not even the innocent wife of an old acquaintance or the French authorities) could slow him down or persuade him to quit his objective. Once the plot gets going in Taken 2 (which takes roughly the same amount of time), the resulting action sequences don't come at you with the same sense of urgency as in the predecessor. There's a good car chase about halfway through, but even that puts Bryan's daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) behind the wheel of the vehicle. The rest of the fight sequences are dull and lacking innovation, and those that promise destruction (like when Mills acquires an AK-47) don't really amount to much: they're generic scenes that could have been imported from just about any action movie.

All-round pop culture obsessive.