Two thumbs down for Taken 2
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 19:10
The challenge of making a great sequel to a great film has once again failed. Taken 2, starring Liam Neeson as retired CIA operative, Bryan Mills, proves that some films are best left alone.
This time around, Mills is trying to get his life back together and make up for lost time with his daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace, and ex-wife Lenore, played by Famke Janssen.
While Mills plans on bringing them along for his trip to Istanbul, Turkey, trouble is a brewing when kidnappers seek revenge on Mills for killing a family member who had abducted Kim in the first Taken.
The movie starts out very slow. It focuses on domestic life, with Mills working at a car dealership and getting upset at Kim for having a boyfriend. This carries on for about 20 minutes.
Kim becomes the main character upon the family’s arrival to Istanbul because the villains kidnap Mills and his wife, and she has to find and rescue them. During the rescue, Mills somehow directs her to their location by giving her directions that seem very impossible, especially in Turkey.
Mills uses some type of memory strength he has acquired during his CIA days and recalls every movement of everything to help his daughter find them. This would’ve worked for Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace but not in this film.
Flashes of the first Taken film are displayed so the audience can get a better understanding of the situation, which is the only thing that helps this film. The action is very mild in Taken 2, and it takes a whole 45 minutes for something exciting to happen.
This film could have used some more technology for an ex-CIA operative. Mills only carries around a very small cell phone device hidden in his sock that he gets out while tied up to contact Kim.
Taken 2 leaves the audience wondering if this is supposed to be an action film or a family thriller. The first Taken at least had the audience in suspense about whether or not Mills would ever see his daughter again. However, that’s the problem with Taken 2. This film was too simple.
Neeson has played much better roles than he did in this film. The 60-year-old actor still has what it takes to do action films, such as fighting and certain basic stunts. But, he needs to be in the right movie, and Taken 2 just wasn’t it.
The film feels more like a tourist video for Istanbul than a story with a plot. Taken 2 is a basic reflection of other modern action films like the Bourne films, Daniel Craig in James Bond, and others that are very disposable and really don’t make a huge impact on our modern movie culture.
For mild action and violence with a decent story and minimal suspense, opting for a Redbox or Netflix purchase to catch the flick may be a better option over a pricey movie ticket.
Let’s hope this doesn’t get in the way of Liam Neeson doing action films again. Neeson is too good for predictable and boring films, and Taken 2 is proof.
Awesome sequel or too simple? Tweet us your review of Taken 2 @RUTORCH