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Taken 2 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13 & Unrated
  • Run Time: 92 (PG-13) & 98 (Unrated) Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: iTunes & UltraViolet
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 13th, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

 

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

In this sequel to the breakout hit Taken, we find Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) attempting to live out a somewhat normal life after the events of the first film. With his daughter and ex-wife both safe, Bryan wants nothing more than to rebuild his family; however, a new job brings him to Istanbul. Hoping to finish this assignment quickly so he can spend time with his family, it turns out that someone from his past has other plans. Murad (Rade Sherbedgia), the father of Marko (one of the villains Mills killed), vows to enact revenge on Mills and his family. Soon, in Istanbul, the family ‘taken’ – only one is left behind (this time the daughter Kim (Maggie Grace)). Now it’s up to Kim to figure out exactly how to get her parents back in what is an essentially re-telling of the first film.

In the world of unnecessary sequels, Taken 2 would probably rank somewhere high up on the list. The 1st film ended with the successful rescue of Bryan’s daughter and, seemingly, Bryan and his family were back on speaking terms. But, we all know Hollywood. Once something makes a ton of money, why not churn out the exact same thing in a new location (*COUGH* Hangover 2 *COUGH*)? Now, even though Taken 2 does essentially repeat the same events, I found this sequel to be pretty damn entertaining – if only because Neeson plays the hero role quite well. He’s convincing in nearly every single scene, as is the film’s main villain Murad. While not the smartest ‘bad guy’ per se, Rade Sherbedgia (in a somewhat subdued role from his normal performances) conveys utter hatred for Bryan with every syllable uttered.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Taken 2 arrives with a 2:35:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, one of which is quite good. Colors tend to focus on very bright looking colors like that of a bluish shadowy background and your goldish, orange look to the contrast levels of our characters. Speaking of contrast levels, everything is quite accurate as our flesh tones resulting in a realistic looking image. Detail impresses as well, particularly that of textures in clothing. Grain can spike a bit in some of the darker moments, as this thick layer of grain does cause the image to lose a bit of clarity. Outside of this slight notch, I found this transfer to be excellent.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The film’s provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is equally as solid as the aforementioned video. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout via the center channel. Atmosphere, particularly during the heightened action sequences, is top notch providing us a true sense of a ‘you’re there’ feeling. Explosions ring in via deep low-end, while bullets zip by our past via the 2 rear channels. All in all, this is a simple, effective effort from Fox.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The provided supplements are featured in High and Standard Definition:

  • Deleted Scenes – A total of 5 deleted scenes (6:56) are shown, including a different extended scene of the foot chase.
  • Alternate Ending – A whopping 25:00 different alternate ending is shown, of which a majority of the theatrical ending has been completely re-worked.
  • Black Ops Field Manual (Unrated) – This is the discs picture-in-picture option that shows information about film locales, facts about the characters and kill count.
  • Sam’s Tools of the Trade – This runs 3:32 and showcases items in Bryan’s case.
  • FX Movie Channel (SD) – This is your FX interview with Liam Neeson, running 5:01.
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer (2:24) is shown.
  • DVD – A DVD version of the film is included on a separate disc.
  • Digital Copy – Digital Copies for both iTunes as well as UltraViolet are made available.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Even though Taken 2 essentially repeats the exact same events of the 1st film, I still found this second entry to be entertaining – if only because Neeson is convincing in the hero role.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
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BestBuy.com:
Taken 2 - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Taken 2 on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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