Cert: 12A Runtime: 92 mins Director: Olivier Megaton Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace
Listen to me carefully, Kim. Your mother; is going to be taken. And people are gonna come for you to
A few years back I put Taken in my DVD player and I was like wow this movie is bad-ass. Hoping that they wouldn’t do a Die Hard on it they did, Taken 2 came out with much fear. I wasn’t expecting much from the sequel. We have all learnt a life lesson already, don’t mess with Liam Neeson. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), the former CIA man who rescued his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) from some Albanian human traffickers, is being targeted by the families of the men he killed. When he goes to Istanbul on a job, he invites Kim and her mother, Leonor (Famke Janssen), whose marriage is on the rocks to join him. When the Albanians learn of this they try to grab them. They get Bryan and Leonor, he warns Kim and she evades them. Later he calls Kim to tell her to go to the Embassy but she insists that he let her help them. Bryan tells her to get his case which is filled with weapons and with that, she finds them and gives him a weapon. He escapes and plans to come back for Leonor but they are too many and is unable to save Leonor. So he relies on his memory to find her.
The movie could have been genuinely awesome, and yet so much went wrong with it, it’s almost unbelievable. The idea of the dad and the daughter teaming up to save the mother/ex-wife wasn’t a bad one, and could have been executed very decently had the relationship between the two not relied so much on clichés. Brief example of such clichés: Daughter thinking she can play Cupid by trying to get her parents back together, overprotective father not too happy of the idea of his daughter having a potential boyfriend. It just seemed so cliché and added nothing at all to the story.The action scenes were awful, and that is probably due to the sloppy editing. In one scene, Bryan is being a bad ass and disarming three armed Albanians at once, but it is pretty difficult to make out anything going on at all. Most of the time, they’re too over-the-top. I don’t mind surrealism here and there, but when the action is too unbelievable, I tend to stop enjoying it. Example, one car chase scene is actually well-shot, but I couldn’t quite get over the fact that the girl who was driving a manual car had never even passed her automatic driver’s license.The only real action scene I liked was at the end, some pretty intense hand to hand combat between Bryan and one of the henchmen.Even the villains are bad. Rade Sherbedgia is an actor I really like (Boris the Blade is one of the best characters ever). In here, he just looks bored, and with reason, too: The scriptwriters give him nothing to work with.
He sits on a couch and waits for his dumb-ass henchmen to call him. He fires a gun once, and – spoiler alert – it is empty. His henchmen are idiots, too. I’m no expert in shooting a weapon, but it makes sense to shoot at something you can see, that way you have more chances of hitting your target.While Bryan hides behind a wall, the two henchmen shoot at the wall with no result (thick walls?). While they reload, Bryan gets out of cover, and shoots them dead. Rinse and repeat all along, and you’ve got a Taken 2.Other irregularities are present as well: The girl throws grenades all around town and the police never shows up, the henchmen don’t look carefully in the closet when the girl is hiding (Normally you would think of looking behind the clothes?). And that’s only part of what the film has to offer if we talk about stupidity.Still there’s some positive to be had: Liam Neeson still gives an excellent performance, he’s really into character. Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen are also very good as supporting actresses. The beginning is a bit long and relies a bit too much on clichés if you ask me, but at least it was well acted and engaging. Finally, that one hand-to-hand combat scene I told you about earlier is also really awesome.Overall, there’s not many redeeming things out of watching this movie. Maybe you’ll walk out a smarter and more mature viewer after pointing out all the irregularities in this movie. There’s some positive to be had, but most of the action is sloppy and not thrilling, which is exactly why I watch an action film: to be thrilled. This is the kind of movie that you wait for TV to show in a couple years, but it is not worth the rental price and definitely not worth a movie ticket at the theatre.