Taken 2 (2012) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Taken 2 (2012)

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I already think that Liam Neeson should be in heavy consideration for an Oscar this year with his outstanding work he did in The Grey, and his work in Taken 2 is another example of how great an actor he is.  I am not saying that Taken 2 is a good movie and is no where near the level of quality as The Grey but I can’t think of ANY other actor that could make Taken 2 work as well as Neeson.

Taken 2 is nothing more than a fun time at the movie.  The people who liked the first film will like this one, but just a little less, and the people who didn’t like the first one will dislike it a bit more.  The story rehashes many of the same story beats as the first movie with his family in danger overseas and the same group of people doing the kidnapping and torturing.  This time though Mills’ (Neeson) daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace who has become the most unrealistic actress to play a teenager/early 20-something since the original 90210, is safe and it's his ex-wife Lenore that is taken. 


Worse than the pedestrian script is the direction of the film.  The director of the first film, Pierre Morel, did not return and the reigns were taken over by the awesome named but no-talent Olivier Megaton.  I have seen three of his action films now and I can honestly say that he's not getting any better and has no skill as a director.  Once again poor moviegoers are assaulted with choppy editing and shaky camera fight scenes that rob the movie of any kind of momentum and just make the audience queasy.  Nothing makes me angrier in action movies as people trying to emulate the Bourne sequel's Paul Greengrass and failing so miserably, and Megaton takes that failing to a whole new level. This movie was a success and we are almost guaranteed a Tak3n and my big wish is to bring back Morel because between the first Taken and the underappreciated From Paris With Love, he has infinite more talent than Megaton.

I have spent three paragraphs criticizing the movie, so why is there a 'Like' banner on the top of this page?  Simply put, it is because Neeson makes the film watchable.   I am proud to say that I am one of the people that drank the Kool-Aid on Neeson as an action start and since he made Taken I have enjoyed his other films in the "Neeson is a badass genre", which includes Unknown, The A-Team and my favorite film yet of this year, The GreyNeeson sells the hell out of these performances so much that I BELIEVE whatever he might be doing, he could be a garbage man that knows kung-fu and I would buy it .


Yet, Taken 2 puts this believability to the test by him locating his daughter in the city by making her repeatedly randomly toss grenades (it's unintentionally as funny as it sounds) and makes us believe he finds the hideout because he heard passing noises while he was kidnapped and blindfolded and he can use those sounds as signposts.

He actually uses birds chirping as a way to find the villains. Let that roll around in your brain for a few minutes.

Is any of this believable?  Not even close!  Yet it doesn’t matter because the movie is a throw back to those B-action movies of the 80s and it doesn’t mind you laughing at the movie.


Like I said earlier it all comes down to whether you like this sub-genre of pictures that Neeson has been churning out the last half decade on where you enjoyment level will be on this film.  It has a laughable script with pencil thin characters and an incompetent director but I still liked it enough because there is something soothing with Neeson cracking skulls and talking softly.  No other actor could have gotten the audience to this film or made it as enjoyable as Neeson.  Give him his Oscar now because a great acting job in a well directed /written film is easy, making something like Taken 2 enjoyable single handedly is a Herculean task.

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Posted by Ryan

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