Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jason versus Taken 2

Taken was one of the best action movies of the last decade; a tight, taut and slick thriller with rough and tumble violence and an intense performance by Liam Neeson. It made a tank load of bank, so a sequel was inevitable. But how does the follow up rate? Stick with me.

In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.

First off, this is a direct continuation of the first film, not a cheap rehash. So props to screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen for that. And it's great to see Neeson's Brian Mills back in action. He's a good character, a true bad ass, and worthy of his own series of movies.

Too bad Taken 2 isn't all that interesting. Sure, there's some nifty fights and a great, and I mean great, car chase through Istanbul, but this sequel doesn't have that much more to offer. Wait, Maggie Grace in a bikini. OK, now there's nothing more to offer.

While Mills was a proactive character in Taken, here he's mostly reactive, and that works against the movie. Sure, he unleashes hell during the final act, but Neeson isn't really allowed to cut loose during the rest of the flick. Taken was awesome because Mills was always moving forward. Here, he is given little to do an nowhere to go.

Also, Pierre Morel is nine times the action director that Olivier Megaton is. Megaton creates pretty pictures in Taken 2, but he can't give the movie the forward momentum it needs.

Taken was awesome. Taken 2 is meh. I give it a Bad and am done with it.
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