DENZEL Washington reunites with director Antoine Fuqua for this sequel to the largely successful 2014 outing, which set out Robert McCall’s stall as the rightful heir to the Taken throne.
While the set of particular skills may be largely the same, where Neeson was beginning to creak a little in The Commuter, Washington still packs a bit of swagger.
After a prologue aboard a Turkish train – during which McCall’s upstanding morals (he’s swapped Hemingway for Ta-Nehisi Coates) and handiness with his fists is reaffirmed – we head back to Massachusetts, where he carries on dishing out vengeance.
It’s perfectly good, pacing itself throughout with some brilliantly tense sequences (one particular highlight involves the best panic room ever).
But the outcome is far too obvious and takes too long to get going. It’s a role that suits Denzel well, less confused than Neeson.
While there aren’t many high-kicks or Cruise-style sprints, Washington has perfected a Jason Bourne fighting style that suits his age well.
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It involves punching blokes in the throat and going full John Rambo.
A tense crowdpleaser, but no one is stretching here, including the viewer.
If there is to be a third outing, it will have to up its game next time.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders
Release Date: 17/08/2018