Do you remember the film Taken? Here is a quick over view: Liam Neeson plays an ex-special forces guy whose daughter takes a trip with a friend to Paris. Sadly she and her friend are kidnapped by some guys and sold into sex slavery. Liam Neeson puts the pieces together to find his daughter and slaughters everyone who stands in his way. The movie was dark, action packed, and frankly a classic. It also made a lot of money in theaters world wide and even more in DVD sales and downloads. So of course a sequel was coming…
Here is the thing, they could have done anything, options were really endless when it came to the sequel. What we get as viewers is the laziest action movie I’ve seen in a long time. The film starts off with Liam Neeson freaking out about his daughter missing her third driving lesson. Okay already I had problems with this because when he finds his daughter(Maggie Grace) she seems to have gotten over what happened in the first film. Now when I watched Taken I assume she had been sexually assaulted and pumped with drugs before being sold off. To have her in the sequel just acting like a high school chick with no problems minus wanting to hang out with her boy friend simply annoyed me. Anyway the film jump starts quick as Neeson takes a job to lead a security effort in Istanbul. His ex-wife and daughter surprise him with a visit. Problem is the fathers and brothers of the men Neeson killed in the first film are coming after him for revenge. I’m not kidding, that’s it, the villains are just simply out for revenge.
The movie doesn’t really attempt at all to do anything with its characters. Neeson and his ex-wife are ambushed and “taken”. The twist being his daughter is the one to avoid being captured. Problem is there are so many stupid scenes that will leave you scratching your head. Neeson is surrounded by armed gun men, yet they allow him to have a like five minute conversation with his daughter on the phone. Later when Neeson is restrained, they leave him in the room alone long enough for him to call her AGAIN! They could have had anything happen here and they chose the stuff we would see in 1970’s Bond movies where the bad guys leave the hero alone for no reason what so ever just so he can escape.
The action is all based off of stupidity. Neeson escapes(of course) and kills like everyone in the building. He leaves his ex-wife behind while he goes on the killing spree. While he’s away two men come and pull her into a van. So Neeson then has to go after them. He reconnects with his daughter and even though she was confident she didn’t even want a driver license she somehow drives a Turkish taxi like Ryan Gosling in “Drive”.
When it comes to the epic conclusion. It is merely Neeson backing the bad guys into a bath house. He fights one in a hand to hand combat scene, there is no weight here. No fun. In Indiana Jones movies we know Indy is going to win, he gets his face punched in and always finds a way to beat the bad guy, the thing is that the fight is always fun or exciting. Neeson fighting some huge Albanian is just by the numbers, no imagination in it. When he finishes the guy off I’m not even sure how he did it. The villains are so boring and also so easily defeated that the movie has absolutely no weight to it. In the first movie the bad guys are disgusting, they abduct girls to be raped to death essentially. These guys are a bunch of older Albanians wanting “revenge”.
The film is too by the numbers from start to finish. Nothing daring or brutal about it. What is really amazing is that the action doesn’t even stand out. It’s all something we’ve seen before. The only good thing about it is how great an action star Neeson is, and how good Maggie Grace was. In the first film all she had to do was scream and looked drugged. Here she has a lot more to do and she pulls it off. I would have enjoyed a movie about her and her father teaming up without the ex-wife getting kidnapped story. This really was a let down.