Calum's Review of Taken 2
After the almost inevitable success of the utterly ridiculous release of Taken in 2010, a manufactured sequel was assured to be to 'on the cards', especially after Liam Neeson's much loved caricature. Alas here we are in 2012, dawned with the latest in the line of Hollywood sequels ready to suck up our savings.
Continuing from the dark climax of the first film, Taken 2 follows the revenge plot of those solemn and bereaved families of the criminals that Neeson viciously slaughtered, with a lack of consequences. A concept that is left largely unexplored throughout most action films of a similar genre...for wise reasons. After what seems like hours of initial family debates and pointless conversation the film finally begins as Mr Mills (Neeson) travels to Istanbul on a business trip. He is then later surprised by his daughter, visiting him from America buzzing with excitement with an obscure willingness to venture into Europe despite the sheer horror she experienced years prior. With her, tags Mill's ambivalent ex wife acting as mundane baggage as she drags herself behind each scene. Add a gang of ill tempered, poorly trained elderly men and 'Voila' we have the worst film of the year.
From the little you could have salvaged from the entertaining disaster of the previous installment has been demolished by the pathetic efforts of it's predecessor. Almost unimaginably this film hits none of the 'right buttons' missing the mark in perhaps every aspect of film. The narrative although relatively clever follows a linear route, abiding by all the cliches, whilst producing some utterly mindless scenes of stupidity. Rarely reminding the audience of Neesons 'particular set of skills' this film instead reminds us of his occasional sparks of idiocy, instructing his daughter to carelessly chuck grenades from her location in order for him to calculate his location.
The lavish action that made the first film so memorable is replaced by pathetic scenes of hand slapping, that is made totally indecipherable due to the poor cinematography. This isn't aided by it's '12A' certificate lowering the age rating by 6 years, so that Fox Studios can line their pockets with undeserved cash. The comical thrills of the first film are left to rot, as nothing similar is repeated in the 2nd film, no intimidating phone calls expressing the protagonists desires, no gritty action sequences of pain, just pathetic scenes of frivolous events, avoiding action where possible. The supposed 'poignant' moment of action ignores the lead anti-hero and instead supplies an unknown gang member as him and Mills tussle on a circular table, in a familiar lack-luster tone. Theirs no area in which we can relate to any characters, each one is as bland as the next supplying no motivation or explanation for their actions, resulting in a finale of disinterest.
The threat which was evidently present in the 1st installment through the grizzly form of prostitution, follows in a contradictory form being replaced with a band of erratic fools unsure of their intentions. This results in some totally incoherent scenes of embarrassment as the gang decide what to do next, despite their 'months of planning'. The main antagonist leading this party, does little to organize them, or in fact do anything at all, as for most of the film he's slouching in an archaic arm chair looking as bored as the audience. This is until his 'big moment' finally comes, the final fight, the supposed thrilling climax to this terrible story, can't even produce a satisfying ending. Previous plot points hit a dead end, the audience howls with insulting laughter and the film finishes with a nonsensical splat.
Little can be salvaged from the wreckage, apart from an enjoyable performance from the ever impressive Liam Neeson, and the frankly hilarious climactic epilogue , where we are relieved of our anxiety as the daughters driving test results are finally revealed... This film fails on a triumphant scale, producing nothing memorable whatsoever, destroying all enjoyment of the previous film ,so please Mr Mills be careful, don't get taken again!
20%- Taken 2 far.