Taken 2

Taken 2 is weak fan service at best. The action is as brutal as the first but it still doesn’t capture the intensity or dire sense of urgency from the original. The movie is filled with questionable motivations as well as choices that are laughable. Although Liam Neeson’s performance is great it’s still not enough to redeem a movie filled with unintentional humor, lack luster enemies, and an overall rather forgetful movie.

When Taken hit theaters back in 2008 I never got the chance to see it. It wasn’t until it was released on DVD that I was finally persuaded by peers to check it out. By no means was it a perfect movie; in fact, it had a lot of problems. Unlikeable characters, cheesy dialogue, and a lot of moments that required a suspension of disbelief plagued the original. However, a stellar performance from Liam Neeson, a great sense of urgency as well as twists created a great action filled ride with a lot of memorable moments. When the second one was announced, I feared it would go the Hangover II route and be plot for plot the same thing, but I accepted that that wouldn’t matter. As long as that movie was able to meet the same thrill ride as the first I would be satisfied.

Taken 2 unfortunately does little to capture the intensity of the first one. The first thirty minutes were incredibly slow as it tried to force a rekindled love between Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). The first one did such a great job of painting her as such a horrible person that it was hard to get invested in this at all. I know it’s suppose to set up the plot for her being taken but it just wasn’t interesting considering how phoned in it was.

As stated, the first one called for some suspension of disbelief but Taken 2 pushes this beyond the limit. There were so many illogical choices that it created a lot of unintentionally funny moments, one in particular involving grenades. Another thing that bothered me was the lack of consideration for any of the civilians. The first one I understood Mill’s motivation to get his daughter back at any cost somewhat justified his actions. Everyone he killed or hurt was some how connected to criminal activity. The worst of his actions came from injuring a former co-worker, Jean-Claude, and his wife. It was hard to forgive but it made easier that Jean-Claude was corrupt. Taken 2, no one is safe. We see little to no concern for civilians, we see Mill’s crashing through crowded streets to get to the U.S. Embassy, we even see him kill a police officer. These actions were definitely harder to justify and had me questioning just who the bad guys were in this film.

Fans of the first Taken will find some comfort in knowing that the action, despite the ridiculousness, is still great. Even from the first trailer I knew this movie was going to be filled with a lot of fan service. The infamous, “I’m about to be taken,” speech, the one-liners, and the brutal fights are there for action lovers to enjoy. However, the sense of urgency that the first one created is missing and creates a rather hollow experience. There’s no twists, no cat and mouse chase, no memorable moments, or really anything to keep the movie feeling like it’s over rather quickly.

It doesn’t help that the movie’s final scenes are so anti-climatic that it could be argued that it was like the main character just gives up. In fact, the movie’s beginning and ending makes it seem as though its one big payoff is Mill’s daughter, Kim, learning to drive and their experience with the criminals is nothing more than a small inconvenience on a rather bad weekend.

Taken 2 is weak fan service at best. The action is as brutal as the first but it still doesn’t capture the intensity or dire sense of urgency from the original. The movie is filled with questionable motivations as well as choices that are laughable. Although Liam Neeson’s performance is great it’s still not enough to redeem a movie filled with unintentional humor, lack luster enemies, and an overall rather forgetful movie.

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Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
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2 responses to “Taken 2

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update #2 | thinkingcinematic

  2. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of January 14th | Thinking Cinematic

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