Notable Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Serbedzija
Luc Besson may be the king of ridiculous action films filled with shiny charm and silly characters, but "Taken" took it to the next level. It was smart, intense, and all of the normally illogical elements seemed to actually work together to create a whole action film that rose above its parts. "Taken 2" is essentially none of that. Luckily, I knew going into it that it was directed by Olivier "Shake, Edit, And Roll" Megaton, who has proven previously with "Transporter 3" and "Columbiana" that he can't direct an action sequence to save his life, and thusly I lowered my expectations. It didn't help that much. "Taken 2" is still a seriously inferior entry into the series where the thrills are often rushed, illogical, and barely watchable.
Bryan Mills (Neeson) has re-established a connection with his daughter (Grace) and his ex-wife (Janssen), when she starts to go through a very rough patch with her current husband. As an ex-CIA operative of the highest caliber, he takes up jobs of security where he can and he offers to meet them in Turkey after one of his jobs to take a holiday from real life. Too bad the father (Serbedzija) of one of the men he killed in pursuit of his kidnapped daughter has it out to make him pay...
|Liam Neeson might not have a lot of tonality to his speaking voice, but who needs that when you are like seven feet tall and carrying a gun?|
|Despite a bigger role, she has less depth in this film.|
Then to ice the cake, Megaton decides to go all Greengrass on the direction of the action sequences. Quick edits, wicked fast zooms and close ups, and shaky cams ruin any kind of flow these action sequences can gather and, despite the sheer amount of action the film has, you never really see any of it. The car chases, the hand to hand combat (with a sequence of baton battling that could have been awesome), and the gun fights all rush by in a flurry of jagged edits and poorly crafted pacing. To be honest, both of the substantially underused villains of the film (how could you really not use Boris The Sneaky Fuckin' Russian to his full potential as a villain?) seem to fall to Neeson in ways that I couldn't understand. I'm pretty sure that Neeson face palms someone to death. I'm not sure how he died. He just palms his face and BAM! Dead! Maybe it's because I haven't watched the unrated version yet. Nonetheless, Megaton has no ability to create tension to make the action worth the time and the end result is rather...boring.
|...he dodges bullets, Avi.|
Written By Matt Reifschneider