The Dinner : Grilled Chickin' sandwich and slice of vegan carrot cake, at Veggie Grill (446 Terry Ave N).

The Movie : Taken 2 ,


Taken 2's Liam Neeson Should Have Stayed in L.A., The Home of Veggie Grill

The Dinner: Grilled Chickin' sandwich and slice of vegan carrot cake, at Veggie Grill (446 Terry Ave N).

The Movie: Taken 2, at Regal Meridian 16 (1501 Seventh Ave).

*See Also: Ben Affleck's Argo Demands Retro Cuisine

The Sreenplate: Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Taken 2's Liam Neeson, as ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills, is served multiple courses from the hands of men who terrorize him and his family on a business/bonding trip to Istanbul.

The revenge the men seek, of course, is retribution for Taken 1 wherein Mills' embarks on a Parisian killing spree of a band of Albanian sex-traffickers and dirty politicians who abduct his unchaperoned teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and nearly succeed auctioning her on the black market.

Of course, the kidnappers are scumbags and deserve their bloody demise--and bad ass dad Mills' oft quoted "particular set of skills," especially the ones begetting a cold-blooded electrocution, made for some tense moments--but even scumbags have loving parents. As such, Taken 2 opens with Rade Serbedzija as Murad, the father of said electrocuted thug, swearing vengeance at his son's funeral.

The cycle of revenge takes another spin as Kim prepares to take her driver's test (for the third time) and starts to date her first boyfriend. This ignites Mills' overprotective instincts and brings him closer to ex-wife Lenore, played by Famke Janssen, who reveals she and her second husband are separated.

Mills suggests she and Kim accompany him on a short trip to Turkey, and mother and daughter remain undecided until they surprise Mills in the lobby of his hotel. He's conveniently just finished a security job for a foreign dignitary, but also being tracked by Murad's men.

The ensuing scenario follows similar paths plotted in the first movie, with thrilling chase sequences and a final show down with Murad front and center. Mills and wife are kidnapped by menacing criminals but daughter Kim escapes. She communicates with--and eventually locates--dad via a discreet CIA cell phone, delivers a gun, and voila, Mills is killing in no time. Dialogue was better in the first film--those father and daughter "trust me" moments have lost their luster--but by now we're well acquainted with the story and the action makes up for it.

Revenge and cold dishes aren't what you'll be served at Veggie Grill, Seattle's first outpost of the southern California based fast food vegan chain, nor will you have to wait long for your order--a quality Mills would appreciate given all the racing he does against the clock to save his family. What's more, the lean, vegetable based protein of "Chickin" would have surely powered him more efficiently through a hand-to-hand combat with a stocky Turkish goon, and the organic sandwich fixings (like Annie's ketchup) and unbleached, recycled paper napkins would further instill the wholesome values he's long been trying to impress on his daughter, like resourcefulness and responsibility.

The carrot cake--which is so moist and decadent no one believes is vegan--is further proof Mills should leave the freelance security guard gig--and his particular set of skills--behind for the comforts of a delicious desert and family movie night in the safe haven of his home, sweet, L.A. based home.

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