Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review: Taken 2 [2012]


Background:
Release Date: 4 October 2012 (Malaysia), 5 October 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Olivier Megaton
Written By: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Shirbedzija
Duration: 91 minutes
In A Nutshell:
Taking-off from the last film, Taken [2008], the bodies of Kim's (played by Maggie Grace) kidnappers have arrived back in Trapoja, Albania to be burried. The family of these dead prostitution-syndicate members vow to take revenge. They are led by Murad (played by Rade Shirbedzija), who is the father of Marko, the guy who was not only killed but tortured by Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson). They get information that Bryan, his ex-wife, Lenore (played by Famke Janssen), and Kim are on holiday in Istanbul.


Thumbs Up:
+ Bryan Mills unearthing the kidnap location with the help Kim
+ Random bad guy chasing Kim on rooftop suffers stupid death. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be comic relief but I laughed-out loud at that one.
Thumbs Down:
- Now at 60 years-old even the mighty Liam Neeson is slow. The guy is mortal after all it seems.
- Uninspired action and lacking scenes with intensity and suspense


The Verdict Is In:
If I were to name just one guilty pleasure action movie outside of those made in the 80s (the zenith era for action heroes), it would be Taken [2008]. You can talk all you want about thin and illogical plot, or the current rotten 58% rating it has over at Rotten Tomatoes, to me that movie was uber-AWESOME!!! Why? It had the greatest telephone monologue in the entire galaxy (I don't think other planets use telephones, so lets change that to the greatest in cinematic history), it had the strikingly intense kidnap scene involving the alluringly hot Maggie Grace, and it also had great action sequences performed by a bad-ass Liam Neeson.

Ah yes, Liam Neeson. This is the guy who was Zeus and Aslan; he trained Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Batman, and Bane; and as Col. Hannibal Smith, loves it when a plan comes together. If ever there was a guy worthy of those Chuck Norris meme jokes it was Liam Neeson (he's also a giant of guy... take a look at his hands when holding a cellphone. He looks like he's 11 feet tall... okay not really). But sadly, at 60 years-old, age has caught up with him. We can see that he is now notably slow during both the fights and chase sequences in Taken 2 [2012]. The fast editing does manages to conceal it a bit though.


But a slow Liam Neeson only contributes to half the problem. I might be too hard on Neeson, he of course could still easily kick my ass, but the action really was just average. It lacked the intensity and suspense the first one had. With that gone, what do we have left to enjoy? The story? Come on! I know I spent more time writing about the first movie and "Mr. Oskar Schindler" here, but truth be told is there's not much to talk about this meaningless sequel anyway. Oh, maybe that Maggie Grace plays a big part in rescuing this time instead of being rescued. Well at least I'm sure this will do much better than that other movie currently playing in cinemas which has a similar story (I think similar... don't care if I'm wrong) and title. In case you don't know it stars Nicolas Cage and is titled Stolen [2012].
Rating:
5 out of 10

10 comments:

  1. I always forget Neeson is 60 and I'm always shocked when I read that he is :) He looks so much younger! I enjoyed the first movie, probably gonna catch this one on DVD.

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    1. I initially thought he was around 52 or 53 and only found out his actual age after looking it up for this post.

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  2. review banyak kata x best...byk gila actually..a pity..rasa won't be seeing this one kot

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    1. Its just a very average sequel... x yah tgk kat wayang

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  3. Great review of an undfortunately ordinary film :)
    I don't know about you, but to me that last fight scene kinda looked like Qui Gon Jinn fighting an Ewok
    *snicker*

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    1. Hahaha... I might be harsh on Qui-Gon here... slow-ER is probably a better word... but Neeson is still bad-ass

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  4. Neeson may be a getting a bit too old for these types of roles but for the time he’s up on-screen, he at least has fun with it and that generates pretty positively to the crowd. Good review Asrap.

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    Replies
    1. The clever editing still made-up a bit for his lack of mobility, but ultimately the film is very average... verging on poor. But Neeson did have fun.

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