Thursday, October 11, 2012

Taken 2: Taken as a video game

I mocked Taken 2 when the trailer came out. I was confused by subsequent trailers as to who was actually being taken. And now after viewing Taken 2, I stand by everything I previous said.

So the problem with really good movies is that sequels have to be better. It makes what Nolan was able to do with the Batman trilogy that much more impressive and awe inspiring.

Taken was a really, really good movie. It had a fluid plot involving Liam Neeson taking logical and realistic steps to find his kidnapped daughter. His character had intense training that enabled him to do things an average joe couldn't. That makes an awesome action movie. It's like a toned-down Bourne.

Taken 2 uses the same premise but without the fluidity and realism that made it's predecessor so entertaining. It plays out like a video game in the sense that it's very disjointed and it feels like there are levels with individual crime bosses that Liam must take down on his way to the main boss. Basically, one person is taken and then another person and then one of them is found and then another is taken but then a different boss takes another person and then they kill that boss while a different boss takes a person that was previously taken.

The film is only an hour and a half but feels much longer. The first taken/found sequence is entertaining enough but it feels like it's the end of the movie only thirty minutes in. Then the second sequence occurs and you're a little less into it. And then it just keeps happening until you're finally glad the movie's over.

Funniest scene in the movie was watching Liam yell at his daughter to get her fucking shit together while driving a clutch through the streets of Istanbul

Now, let me make it clear that Liam will always be entertaining. And this movie is still entertaining. The difference is that Taken is sweet and Taken 2 is just another action flick. Plus Liam's 4 years older and even though he's in great shape for a sixty year old, it did seem like he wasn't quite all there for the fight scenes.

There were also many more questions throughout the movie that are kind of nit-picky but weren't present for the first movie. Here were some that went through my head:

Where did he get that leather duster jacket after just being kidnapped the scene before?
How does she know how to drive a stick after being unable to pass her driver's test in a Toyota Camry?
If they're going to shoot at him, why do they continue to hold the wife hostage?
How are five men shooting machine guns without any single bullet hitting him?

Taken 2 is a typical "wait-for-it-to-be-on-netflix-or-tv" movie. Is that an expression yet? I was going to say to wait for it to be a rental but where do you rent it from anymore? Whatever, the point is, is that it's not worth the money to see it in theaters and since the plot and action is so similar to the first movie you're really not missing out. However, if you feel like watching Liam fight humans instead of wolves, then definitely save Taken 2 for a stay-in movie night.

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