Every time I see marketing materials for Taken 2, I am reminded once again that the original Taken was preposterously a PG-13 film. Arguably, the only PG-13 film more violent than Taken is The Dark Knight. How does Taken escape an R-rating? A violent kidnapping. Set in the world of sex slavery and drug trafficking? Common sense media said it’s only appropriate for kids aged 15 and up. Yet, it escaped because 1) it only used a couple of profanities, which are the real devil, and 2) Liam Neeson probably held a gun to the MPAA’s head and yelled, “GIVE ME MY PG-13 RATING MOTHERBEEPERS.”
Taken 2 has not yet been rated, but it looks equally violent and grim and kind of fantastic because, as far as escapist thrillers go, it’s hard to beat the Taken formula. Will it escape the R-rating? Almost certainly.