Taken 2 (7/10)
by Tony Medley
OK for children.
Taken was one of 2008's best movies, directed by Pierre Morel and
written by Luc Besson with Robert Mark Kamen. This sequel is also
written by Besson, but is written by Olivier Megaton, also with Kamen.
The first was relatively realistic.
In the first
Liam Neeson's daughter was taken in Paris and Neeson spent the entire
film finding her and telling her abductors. In this sequel Neeson and
his wife (Famke Janssen) are taken in Istanbul and the rest of the film
is Neeson escaping and killing his abductors.
This one, while
tense, is loaded with some pretty silly things. I don't know which is
the silliest, so I'll just list a couple of them. Neeson uses a handgun
that he must've found in the Republic Pictures prop room because it
never needs loading. Liam just shoots and shoots and shoots and the
bullets keep coming. I haven't seen a gun like that since Gene Autry and
Roy Rogers stopped riding the range.
The second one
is Neeson's remarkable ability to find a needle in a haystack. The way
he figures out where he is located after he and his wife are abducted
and blindfolded is, indeed, ingenious. However, when he starts going to
look for his wife credulity is strained to the breaking point.
weakest part of the film is that the bad guys just aren't that hateful.
They are led by the father of the men killed by Neeson in Taken,
but the leader, being the father of a slain son, is basically just a
loving father bent on revenge, even if his son had been a monster. His
henchmen are basically nameless and faceless people whose only purpose
is to be slain by Neeson.
Because of the
bad word-of-mouth, and because I did not see it in a screening, I was
not expecting much here. So I was pleasantly surprised when I spent a
relatively entertaining hour and a half. The cinematography (Michael
Abramowicz) of Istanbul is particularly rewarding, and the actors
(especially Maggie Grace who reprises her role as Neeson's daughter) all
give fine performances.