Hyped-up action flick sequel struggles with weak plot, dialogue

Published by adviser, Author: Jimmy Graner - Rocket Contributor, Date: October 18, 2012

Back in 2009, director Pierre Morel, who was best known at the time for directing the film “District B13,” introduced us to a crime action thriller film known as ‘Taken.”

Liam Neeson, who’s played a number of roles in his lifetime, acts as the main character in this story. As an ex-CIA agent, Neeson must track down his daughter who has been kidnapped by slave traders in Europe, and find her before anything happens to her.

In “Taken 2,” the tables are turned when Neeson as well as his ex-wife in the story are kidnapped in Istanbul while vacationing with their daughter. You thought by now, maybe they would learn their lesson when traveling out of the country?
Like the original, “Taken 2” takes us through the same mumbo jumbo, only this time, we find the daughter searching for her parents after they are taken. Like before, the movie has a slow start with a little introduction explaining what the characters are up to since the kidnapping last happened.

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has come out of retirement and gone back into what he does best, kicking butt and being an overprotective father. Kim (Maggie Grace) continues to try and lead her normal life, whether that is with her new boyfriend or the difficult task of trying to pass her driver’s exam. One thing is for sure – her father is more overprotective than ever.

“Taken 2” does a poor job trying to match the performance made by its predecessor.

In the original, there’s a constant flow of information being taken in and it’s driving the storyline into different aspects to make the story worth watching. As the viewer, you don’t know what to expect.

In “Taken 2,” all the information is presented quickly without hesitation. Most of the film is driven through action and implausible scenes. If you’re looking for someone who’s hiding in a closet and all you do is open the closet door and look in, you’re not really doing your job. If a simple unlicensed teen can get into a car and drive around the streets of a country where they have never been to without hesitation, I say let’s lower the driving age to 13.

Time after time, things happen in this story that I can’t even begin to question are possible in real life. I understand it’s a movie and that a point is trying to be made, but please try and make it look even a little believable.

As far as trying to accomplish the same deal as the first from a technical perspective, it succeeded. The cinematography used for each shot is very good. For many of the shots, whether they were moving, aerial, or close ups, the director knew what he was doing when trying to represent the picture of a said shot.

In some points, the dialogue used among some of the characters is witty, but not thought out well enough to be taken seriously. If the writers wanted to bring the terrorists across as dumb and unconventional, then they succeeded.

In the final fight scene, Mills is put into a fight with someone half his size and not even up to his standards. Although it may look like a he’s taking a beating, a couple punches to the face are all it takes to knock someone out.

Fortunately, Liam Neeson, like in all his films, accomplishes the work of his character in carrying the film along.

Overall, you’re not getting as much material as you would want to see in a sequel of this nature. And for that, I give “Taken 2” a 3-star rating.


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