- Liam Neeson
- The Plot
- The Editing
- The Implausible
- Compared to 'Taken'
Writers: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Producers: Luc Besson, Diloy Gülün, and Michael Mandaville
Actors: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Šerbedžija
Original Music by: Nathaniel Méchaly
Cinematographer: Romain Lacourbas
Film Editors: Camille Delamarre and Vincent Tabaillon
Don’t take Liam Neeson‘s stuff. It’s a simple concept that earned over a quarter billion dollars worldwide with the film Taken. Now Neeson is back to chew gum and kick ass, and he’s all out of gum. With the worldwide success of the first film a sequel was inevitable, but unfortunately Taken 2 falls short of the excitement of Taken.
Retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) from Albanian kidnappers a year ago. During the funeral for the kidnappers Mills killed, Murad Hoxha (Rade Šerbedžija), the employer of the men and father of the victim Mills killed by electrocution, Marko Hoxha, vows to find Mills and avenge the deaths of their loved ones. During their family vacation in Istanbul, Mills and his ex-wife Lenore (Framke Janssen) are taken hostage by Hoxha’s men. Mills enlists his daughter to help them escape.
Over the years, Liam Neeson has saved over 1000 Jews from the Nazis, trained Obi-Wan Kenobi and Batman, led the A-Team, saved Narnia from the White Witch, led the Gods against the Titans, and beat up wolves with his bare hands. He has built a cinematic reputation of being a bad ass, and is one phone call away from being the star of the next Expendables film. While Taken 2 isn’t the greatest film in Neeson’s career, he is the highlight of the film. While his acting is the best he could do with the script he was given, the real high point of the film was his ability to bring down the bad guys. At 60 years old Neeson can still kick ass and look good doing it.
The plot of the film was as close to the plot of Taken as they could get without calling Taken 2 a remake. People get taken, Liam Neeson finds them and leaves a trail of dead bad guys in his wake. While it sounds like this should be a fast-paced and action packed film, sadly it isn’t. The whole first act of the feature, before anyone gets kidnapped, takes forever. Once the story begins to pick up, the plot is stuffed full of every action movie cliché known to man. Uneventful shoot-outs, boring interrogations, and obligatory car chases all lead up to the most anticlimactic final battle in movie history. The entire film seems to be missing the drive and the energy that Taken brought to the screen.
In action movies, the editing is usually a little fast paced and choppy to show the chaos of a fight. Editors Camille Delamarre and Vincent Tabaillon (I don’t know which one to blame) took this method and made it their own… but not in a good way. It felt like they looked on the cutting room floor, found half-second snippets of a scene and pieced them all together to make an action sequence. I started to get a headache while watching Neeson beat the crap out of a guy from seven different angles in less than two seconds. The whole film seemed to flow that way. I don’t think there was a shot longer than three seconds in the entire film.
This section contains SPOILERS.
When Bryan Mills is kidnapped, he calls his daughter from a hidden cell phone and instructs her to throw a grenade out the window so that he can calculate how far away she is from his location. As she gets closer to him, she detonates two more grenades so Mills can pinpoint exactly where she is. Now, I admit, I haven’t been to Turkey and I’m pretty clueless when it comes to their local customs. But I’m fairly sure that if I ran around Istanbul lobbing grenades left and right there would be some police interference. Or at the very least, some concerned looks from citizens. Perhaps the film is set in an alternate universe that resembles ours exactly, except you can crash your way through the armed barricades at the American embassy with a stolen taxicab and survive without a scratch.
Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Even though the film is implausible in places and the editing is enough to make you sea sick, I still enjoyed watching Liam Neeson beat the living snot out of everyone. Neeson is the only redeeming factor for the film. If you’ve seen Taken, then you’ve seen Taken 2. The only thing different between the films is who gets… taken. Everything else has been seen before; someone gets abducted, they get rescued, the kidnappers pay the price, and Liam Neeson is a bad ass with a gun. So remember kids, don’t take Liam Neeson’s stuff.
‘Taken 2′ Trailer