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The Ending Of Taken 2 Explained

Taken proved one thing to the world — if an angry father tells you he has a very special set of skills, you better release his daughter.

Not only was the action flick a hit around the globe, but it established Liam Neeson as a bona fide action star. It wasn't long until the actor became the go-to guy for any movie plot that required excessive butt-kicking, and the existence of movies like The GreyUnknown, and Non-Stop are all thanks to Taken. His reputation for beating down bad guys became so well-known, in fact, that he had to retire from action movies (before promptly unretiring). 

Getting back to the movie that started it all, Taken had everything audiences wanted out of an action thriller. Bryan Mills (Neeson) loses his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) to an abduction, so he absconds to Europe to track her down, killing henchman upon henchman in the process. It all has a happy ending, with Bryan's family reunited. His ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen) may still be with someone else, but at least they're on more amicable terms now (saving your daughter will do that kind of thing). Everything seemed to be wrapped up nicely, but with any successful movie, a sequel always has to be in the cards. 

Taken 2 put the Mills family back in harm's way — except this time, Bryan and Lenore are the ones taken. It's up to Kim to save the day, for this adventure, and it all culminates in a thrilling conclusion. 

Bryan Mills gives the bad guy an out

Kim proves herself to be a worthwhile mercenary while she's receiving guidance from her father throughout most of the film. However, Bryan's still there to lay down the hurt, and he manages to save himself and his ex-wife from the Albanian mafia. Once the women in his life are out of harm's way, he sets out on revenge to find the man behind it all — Murad Hoxha (Rade Šerbedžija).

The two meet face-to-face, and as expected, Bryan gains the upper-hand. However, he doesn't kill Murad right away. Instead, he gives him a choice: Murad can choose to die right here and now, or he can go on his way to be with his sons. Murad accepts the offer to leave Bryan alone, allowing him to put down his gun ... but it wouldn't be a thriller without a double-cross. Murad picks up the gun only to discover it doesn't have any bullets. Bryan realizes he'll always be hunted, so he impales his enemy on a towel hook.

There's a line during this final confrontation that really sums everything up when Bryan says, "I am tired of it all." He's a retired CIA officer, who just wants to be there for his family. He doesn't want to be some killer, and he recognizes that if he were to dispatch Murad, then his remaining sons would come after him. He'd prefer not to deal with any of that and genuinely seems to want Murad to just walk away. Sadly, that doesn't happen, and Bryan realizes that no matter how hard he tries, he'll always be trapped in this violent world.

Taken 2 sets up storylines the sequel doesn't follow

Before his death, Murad tells Bryan that he has two other sons, and if he kills him, then they will go after him. It's the reason why Bryan wants to let him go alive initially, because he would prefer if those sons weren't a threat. Of course, things don't go so well for Murad, so on initial watch, it would make sense to assume Taken 3 would be about those last two sons avenging their brother and father. 

Things don't go that way for the sequel.

Instead, the follow-up goes in a completely different direction with Lenore's new husband, Stuart (Dougray Scott), killing her, and then framing Bryan for the murder. The Albanian mafia doesn't come into play at all, so it's a little weird watching Taken 2, in hindsight, with a scene that seems to set up what the sequel will be about ... only for it to not matter, in any way. 

Those two remaining sons could always come into play with Taken 4but considering the third installment came out all the way back in 2014, it's seeming unlikely that Neeson will return to this franchise. Of course, when it comes to action franchises and sequels coming out decades late, audiences should never say never. There's always a possibility another Taken movie could pick up with Kim following in her dad's footsteps, and the remaining members of the Hoxha family decide to take their revenge on her. That's our pitch, and we're sticking to it.