Film Review: “Taken 2”- Liam Neeson Says Something Cool

Written by Tommy October 10, 2012

“I AM BEING TAKEN”- The words that are actually coming from his mouth in this scene.

Taken 2 is ennnuuuughhhhh. That’s all I can think of to summarize it. It’s not that horrible. I mean it isn’t anything close to good, but it doesn’t make you want to hang yourself like some movies (“The Expendables”). I know that everyone already thinks this, and nobody was expecting it to be actually good, but right now someone out there is thinking “hey maybe it will just be a fun dumb action movie!” and I want to let you know that there is nothing fun here. Not even “so bad it’s fun” fun.

Take my wife, please!

“Taken 2” follows in the tradition of crappy sequels where they take the plot of the first film and go “it happened again!” and then toss in one or two plot variations so they can steal everyone’s money. “Taken 2” apes its predecessor almost scene for scene for the entire opening act. Right from the start you have Bryan Miller (Liam Neeson) being an over controlling father to his daughter (Maggie Grace, who spends the film acting like a low-rent Kirsten Stewart.), and we are told again and again that he just needs to let her grow up! This family issues theme is strip-mined for the easiest possible “parenting jokes”  meant to pander to the unfunniest members of every demographic. Did you know that fathers sometimes disapprove of who their daughter is dating? “Taken 2” sure does! And it makes damn sure the audience does as well.

Liam spends a lot of time talking on phones while pointing guns.

Then WHAM! Someone gets Taken! Liam Neeson and his wife (Famke Janssen) get Taken! (Liam Neeson literally says “I’m being Taken!”) And they’ve been Taken by the family of the people he brutally shot to death the last time someone was Taken! That’s actually different from the first one! Exciting! Then… he escapes ten minutes after being captured. Now it’s just the same as the first “Taken”, except his daughter is there I guess. Now, *sticks thumbs under suspender straps* I ain’t no fancy Hollywood writer, but I would have used this for Liam Neeson to learn that he shouldn’t be so controlling, and that his daughter can take care of herself. The movie says that it does this, and tries to create artificial character growth by having people stand around saying “WOW LIAM NEESON, YOU’VE CHANGED SO MUCH!”. In the actual movie though, Liam Neeson’s over controlling nature saves the day repeatedly! He never learns anything! The one time his daughter tries to do something without Liam Neeson’s guidance, she fails and has to be saved by Liam Neeson!  At this, the audience breathes a sigh of relief, “Phew, a woman almost accomplished a thing.”

Bang bang bang Liam Shoots The Bad Guys

The actual action is competent. I don’t really know what else to say. I mean cars flip over and stuff. Anytime Liam Neeson gets into hand to hand fighting with someone the camera freaks out and it’s hard to get a bead on what’s actually happening, so pretty much standard fare there. To the movie’s credit, it attempts to have some interesting scenes, but it usually ends up being stupid. There is a scene in this movie where Liam Neeson is captured and to find out where he is, he has his daughter throw grenades off the tops of buildings so he can hear the explosion. I mean, it’s a new idea but just use an air-horn or something. As far as performances go, Liam Neeson clearly just wants to get the movie done. His most well delivered line is something like “I’m tired, and I want to go home”. You can believe that one. Nobody else really stands out.

Seriously. I barely had to look at all for these pictures. It’s practically the strongest theme of the movie.

The real sad thing is that this movie could have done some interesting things with the action genre. I mean, how many times has an action hero had to actually deal with the consequences of killing so many people? It could have told an interesting story about the cycle of revenge, and how killing only leads to more killing. The movie knows this, and spits on the idea. The people coming for vengeance (who are totally not Muslim; they have the crescent moon and star of Islam tattooed on their hand because they’re huge astronomy fans) are totally unambiguously evil and killing them gets rid of all your problems forever. You know what? Forget what I said in the intro. It IS horrible. It’s lazy, stupid, and worst of all it’s forgettable. If you bring this to a party claiming it’s “so awful it’ll be funny!” then I hope all your friends hate you forever.

My Rating: 3/10



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What a Cool Guy.

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