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Taken 2: Take Harder   2 comments

The first trailer for Taken 2 came out last week, and promises more Liam Neeson killing the f**k out of people.

This family needs to stop going on vacation.  They are just bad at not getting kidnapped.  I know, “don’t blame the victim,” but seriously they should stop.

Taken is easily my favorite shoot-em-up action movie of the last few years.  The plot wasn’t anything ground breaking and the acting didn’t win any awards, but it had the “what-is-this-guy-going-to-do-next” factor.  It kept me entertained all the way through and got me excited for the now realized sequel.  But the preview has switched my excitement from “NEED TO SEE IT OPENING DAY” to a less enthusiastic “I’ll Netflix it.”

“AtomicSam said that? Did you tell him about my particular set of skills?”

The trailer lost me with one line: “Your mother is going to be taken.”

I had an easy time buying Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills’, motivation in the first movie.  He is a divorced father who is pushed out of his daughter’s life by his evil ex-wife and her rich new husband.  Mills devotes all of his free time to building a relationship with his daughter, but his over protective nature drives a wedge between them.  While traveling abroad she doesn’t follow his strict rules and gets… TAKEN! by a group of men who trade in sex slaves. It becomes a race against time to bring his daughter home.  It also happens that he is ex-CIA and is apparently the toughest guy in the history of tough guys, so he elects to fly to France and just kill everyone until he finds her.  This is his little girl we’re talking about here!

Taken is fulfillment fantasy.  Mills is “SuperDad,” who, despite being marginalized in the life of his one and only daughter, is able to prove his devotion and love beyond any doubt.  On screen he plays out what every man in the audience thinks they would do if they needed to protect their family.  With bullets. Lots and lots of bullets.

In Taken 2 he is saving his ex-wife.

Somehow, “I need to save my ex-wife” just doesn’t have the emotional draw of “I need to save my daughter.”  I have a hard time seeing why he would go to the same lengths (or more likely bigger more expensive looking lengths) to save her. Neeson and Famke Janssen did a good job of playing a couple that fell out of love, and you can tell why they didn’t work out.  They don’t get along, and not in the My-Hate-of-You-Hides-My-True-Feelings way but in the We-Just-Can’t-Stand-the-Sight-of-Eachother-Anymore way.  Even after they start getting along again at the end of the first movie there is no expressed desire for their spark reignite, which makes renewed romance implied by the trailer for Taken 2 feel out of place.

Although to be fair, not everyone’s ex is Famke Janssen.

I guess Taken 2 doesn’t need a deep and involving plot.  It is mostly an excuse to film Liam Neeson shooting things.  But, if the plot is just something to be tacked on to sequences of him killing people, why tie it back to the first movie at all?  Why not have him save a new love interest?  Or maybe its the President’s daughter that is TAKEN, and he teams up with a bad ass action President as his side kick? I’d watch that movie!

Taken 2 director Olvier Megaton has made his career directing lackluster assassin/revenge movies, and it looks like he is about churn out a by-the-numbers rehash of Taken 1.  His pseudonym  is in reference to the atomic bomb that landed on Hiroshima, which makes me think that he is secretly a ten-year old.  I feel that my hopes for this movie having been significantly lowered are justified.

How do you feel about Taken 2? Gonna check it out or are you passing? Let me know in the comments!  

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Posted June 25, 2012 by atomicsam in Film

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2 responses to “Taken 2: Take Harder

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  1. Honestly, I’m still totally on board the Taken 2 express to throat-chop-ville. One thing I appreciate about this premise is that it shows repercussions of his murder spree from the first movie in that great corollary to Murphy’s Law: “Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.” It paints him in a slightly darker light, which is appropriate since a character like Bryan Mills SHOULD be terrifyingly dark, given his skill set and casual attitude toward violence. He’s a real “just be glad he’s on our side” kind of guy, which also makes him a bad enough dude to rescue the president (or the president’s daughter, in your scenario) from ninjas.

  2. I’m just glad they moved away from the Liam Neeson gets taken/daughter suddenly acquires his skills and goes to rescue him plot. That could still happen of course, but at least it’s not the basis of the entire thing. Also, people need to stop casting this guy every time they need an older foreign bad guy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0784884/

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