Taken 2

Inciting Event: The Albanians—bent on vengeance for the men Bryan killed in rescuing his daughter in the last movie—torture Bryan’s French contact Jean-Claude to learn Bryan’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, Bryan invites his daughter Kim and ex-wife Lenore to join him on vacation in Istanbul.

The main tension-grabber and turning point in this section is the scene with the Albanians. Viewers know wrath is about to descend on Bryan and his family—but he doesn’t know it yet. This gets the job done, but it’s not a great Inciting Event because it never gives the protagonist a chance to react to the first glimmerings of conflict.

(Note that in the first movie Bryan similarly had no idea in the First Act that anything bad was about to happen to his daughter, but he was immediately uncomfortable with her going to Europe, which created organic tension and foreshadowing.)

First Plot Point: In Istanbul, Bryan realizes he and Lenore are being followed. He immediately reacts by sending Lenore on the run and calling Kim back at the hotel. Meanwhile, he tries to engage the Albanians in a lengthy chase scene. This is the first moment where he collides with the main conflict. It isn’t a particularly dramatic leaving of the Normal World, but since both viewers and presumably Bryan know that, once engaged with the bad guys, there’s no turning back, it works sufficiently.

First Pinch Point: Bryan and Lenore are captured by the Albanians. This decidedly emphasizes the antagonists’ power. In most stories, this would make a better First Plot Point, since it’s more dramatic than the First Plot Point we find here—and a more definitive switch in settings/worlds. However, it’s also worth noting that in stories that require a little more set up (which you could argue that this one really didn’t), the pinch point will sometimes appear more strongly than the plot point.

Midpoint: The Albanian patriarch talks to Bryan and explains why they’ve come for him—and what they plan to do to him and his family. This provides Bryan with new clues about the conflict. However, it fails to provide audiences anything new, since they already knew all this from the Albanians’ earlier scenes. Shortly after this, Bryan escapes, which allows him to go on the offensive for the rest of the movie.

Second Pinch Point: Bryan secures Kim—and steals a taxi—then goes back for Lenore, only to see her being forced into van, which speeds away. Again, the antagonists enforce their power—and set up the Third Plot Point. Bryan and Kim then escape to the U.S. Embassy.

Third Plot Point: At the Embassy, Bryan admits to Kim that the Albanians still have Lenore. This is a very quiet moment of despair, backed up by scenes in which the Albanians prepare to torture Lenore. As such, it works as a Third Plot Point, but it’s hardly heavy-hitting. It’s more a nod to the moment than an actual exploration of the emotions.

Climax: After Bryan infiltrates their hideout, the Albanians move Lenore once more. Bryan finds them and faces them down in a final battle. Nothing much worth noting here, except that the story funnels Bryan’s confrontations down from least important to most important.

Climactic Moment: When the Albanian patriarch tries to shoot Bryan in the back after agreeing to let him walk away, Bryan kills him.

Resolution: Back home, Kim finally passes her driver’s test—which she was struggling with in the opening scenes. This is a nice framing technique, since it harks back to the beginning. But as an actually resolution of the main story, it offers nothing. We have no idea how the characters are reacting to their traumatic experience, other than to see that they’re okay.

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