In Taken, an ex-CIA operative (Liam Neeson) rampages his way across Europe in a desperate attempt to find his daughter, who had been kidnapped by human traffickers while on vacation in Paris. After killing 23 people, he finds that she’s being held on a yacht, kills another 9 people, rescues his daughter, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Or do they?
Since Taken made $225 million worldwide on a budget of $25 million, a sequel of some sort was required. The only problem: The plot of Taken didn’t exactly lend itself to future installments. Perhaps taking a cue from the writers of The Hangover 2—who famously recycled the plot of the first Hangover movie, only to throw people off, replaced Las Vegas with Thailand, the tiger with a monkey, and Mike Tyson with the Russian mafia—the writers of Taken 2 seem to have solved this problem by substituting Neeson’s wife for his daughter and Istanbul for Paris. The new movie even has a variation on Taken‘s signature scene in which Neeson talks to his daughter on his cell phone while a kidnapping is in progress.
Journalist Jonah Lehrer is currently embroiled in controversy after it was revealed that five of his blog posts for The New Yorker were self-plagiarized. If the scandal ends up sinking his career as a journalist, he may want to consider giving screenwriting a shot.
Taken 2 hits theatres Oct.5.