Only thing taken by this movie is your money
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 23:10
You’re probably wondering why on earth there is a “Taken 2.” I assumed I was in for one of those cheap sequels that exists only to make me $10 poorer. That’s exactly what I got. Is there any reason in the world of “Taken” for the story to continue any farther than the end of the first “Taken?” No, but it opened with $50 million dollars this past weekend, so that’s why it exists.
“Taken” was a fast-paced action thriller that also had a real story and meaning. It was very subtle. It may have seemed like it was about Liam Neeson getting his daughter back and killing everyone in his way, but what it really was about was the European sex slave and human trafficking business. The film showed us how everything worked and how deep it all goes, very subtly. It brought to light to these serious issues and raised awareness without most of the audience even knowing they were doing so. Seeing Neeson kill or beat up everybody in France was just a bonus. “Taken 2” does not tell an interesting story and is not about anything bigger than an hour and a half of Neeson once again trying to get his family back in the kind of role people got sick of Harrison Ford playing years ago.
Each plot point is just event after event that happens only to give Neeson another chance to beat people up. On top of that, none of it is believable or seems plausible. When I was 15, I got jumped after school one day, and I still look over my shoulder walking back from work at night. Kim Mills was abducted, drugged and sold into the European sex slave trade and her best friend overdosed after being used as a sex slave. She was destined for the same fate until her father blew up and murdered half of France to get her back. It’s been a year since the first film and she does not seem at all appreciative or traumatized or even understanding about why her father is concerned about her safety. Even for a spoiled rich girl, that’s unlikely. She fails her driving test three times, but when she’s in Europe and forced to drive a stick car she’s suddenly doing professional driving stunts that, with all my years of driving, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to do. The obvious answer is her stunt double did the driving, but when we’re watching a movie we don’t want to be aware of that. The film has plot holes so big that Kim figuratively drives through them.
I will admit watching Neeson kick butt again is the one redeeming thing about this. However, this film lacks that edgy PG-13 that the first one had. Rather, it has been “PG-13ified.” There were some scenes where the camera changes so fast to hide any violence that I wasn’t even sure how the bad guys died. I’m pretty sure at one point Neeson just touched someone’s face and they died. People get shot and angles frantically switch until they are lying on the ground. This happens during fight scenes too, which is extremely annoying. If you’re going to make a silly action movie just to make a sequel, at least give us the hard PG-13 or some of that action that we all came to see.
While the movie lacks everything that made the first “Taken” the unexpected hit, America’s clear love for Neeson punching people may be enough to keep audiences somewhat interested throughout. Some of the action is cool, but most of it is poorly edited and so unrealistic, ruining the one thing you may like. Don’t watch this if you don’t have to. Go rent the first “Taken” or watch “The Grey” and anything else Neeson is in. Trust me.