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"Taken 2" reviews are uniformly critical

"Taken 2," the sequel to the 2008 action thriller starring Liam Neeson, his theaters today and critics are panning the film for not being different from its predecessor.

In the sequel, the Albanian sex traffickers who kidnapped Kim (Maggie Grace) in the first film are out for vengeance after she was saved by her father, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Neeson), but this time their targets are Bryan and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen).

The film received an 18 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling the it  a "remake" of the first film.

Here's what some of the critics had to say:

Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post: "You can't blame Neeson, or the 'Taken' producers, for trying to catch lightning in a bottle again. What you can blame them for is 'Taken 2,' a sequel every bit as clumsy, ham-handed, outlandish and laughable as the original was sleek, tough and efficient."

Scott Bowles of USA Today: " 'Taken 2' is a rehash of the original. Fortunately, they're leftovers from a fine first course."

Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe: "It's a stupid movie by smart people who aren't smart enough to realize it's stupid. The absurdity grows like mold in the dank, dark of seriousness. So it's fun for some of the right reasons, but mostly for the wrong ones."

Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times: "At a beefy 6-foot-4, Neeson certainly looks physically imposing, but it was the notion of casting someone who can actually act in an action hero role that was the counter-intuitive concept that made both films -- 'Taken 2' is more a remake than a sequel -- so successful."

John Anderson of Wall Street Journal: "Less magical is the blind adherence to formula evident in most of "Taken 2." As they might say in the advertising department, it's an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. But it could have been much more."

Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune: " 'Taken 2' is so much lousier than need be, and its action sequences look as if they were put together by someone who doesn't know what he's doing. That's a problem. And not even the charismatically weather-beaten face and basso profundo action-star delivery of Liam Neeson can compensate."

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