Friday, December 12, 2014

Movie Review: "Taken 2" (2012)

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Movie"Taken 2"
Director: Olivier Megaton
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

In an effort to reconnect with his family,  Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has invited his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), and Daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), to accompany him to Istanbul.  Meanwhile Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija), the father of the man Bryan killed for kidnapping his daughter, is plotting his revenge. He and his gang take Bryan and Lenore captive, now Bryan must use his cell phone to talk his daughter through freeing him so he can save Lenore and eliminate the threat against his family. 

You'd think that people would have learned their lesson not to mess with Bryan Mills after he single-handedly flew to a foreign country and took down an entire sex trading ring after they kidnapped his daughter in the first "Taken" film. Well, apparently, they didn't, and these same morons attempt to get revenge with about as much success as they did in the first film. Liam Neeson has found his place as a bad-ass, take no prisoners action star despite being 62 years old. His tall stature, grizzled voice, and ever present Irish accent helps lend to his credibility in these roles. He has managed to stay relevant throughout his old age, something many actors don't do, and we really do enjoy seeing him in these action movies where he shows us what he's made of...

...And look, we're Liam Neeson fans just as much as the next Tom and Harriett, but was it really necessary to make a second film under the same "Taken" franchise? Was it necessary to expand the franchise at all? To this, we say: no and no. All of the same thrills of the first movie should for all intents and purposes be found here, and yet, somehow, these thrills have been cheapened by even being part of this sequel. The movie is not super engaging to watch and it's not even that compelling of a new story since it's basically the first movie, in a different setting, with Liam Neeson trying to free himself so that he can save his ex-wife. The writing is lazy, the story is lazy, the directing isn't even worth mentioning, and the acting is knocked down a couple of pegs because it all feels super forced. At least all of the same main actors showed up for this sequel and they didn't have to pass new actors off as the same characters. Hell, there are even flashbacks to the first movie quite a few times in this new one! Talk about uninspired. Hollywood seriously to quit while they are ahead. This movie isn't very good and sort of does a disservice to the original movie because of its mediocrity.

As much as it pains us to say this, "Taken 3" is in the works and will be released in January 2015. *sigh* Let's see, he has fought off the kidnappers of his daughter, his wife, and himself..we're not entirely sure who else is left to abduct... maybe his dog? We shall see. The trailer looks mildly promising.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 21%
Do we recommend this movie: I say meh, BigJ says sure, why not?

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