"Taken" was, to me, the movie that threw Liam Neeson into the "action star" category. I know he was a Jedi knight at one point, but that was the movie that made it real. The story was compelling, the action amazing, and the entire thing was a thrill ride. While the story this time out is very unique (the relatives of some of the men he killed in the first film are out for revenge) and I loved where it came from, the execution of the whole thing faltered horribly.
While "Taken 2" will not let you lose faith in Liam Neeson's ability to kill a man creatively with his bare hands, the director this time out seems to take it as a personal challenge to change camera angles as many times as humanly possible during any action sequence. As a result, any time Liam is talking to someone, it's all calm and steady. The instant he moves toward a person to attack, the director takes the movie into an angle frenzy that lets you know there's a lot of action going on, but you'll never know what it is. It looks as if they didn't want to bother choreographing the fight scenes, so instead they just had Liam jerk around a bit and threw the camera into all sort of close-ups of elbows, shirts, fists, and such with sound effects. During a car chase scene, I counted 65 different camera angle changes in one minute, some lasting just a half a second close-up of a steering wheel, foot on the gas, etc. It's deplorable. At one point, Liam puts his hand on a guy's face and the guy dies, making it appear Liam killed him by sheer willpower. I am all for another one in this franchise (and they easily pave the way for a sequel at the end), but get a better director the next time out.
on January 24, 2013
I really wanted to love this movie. The first Taken was super, and I've been wanting more in the same vein from Liam Neeson since then. I was happy when Taken 2 finally came out on DVD and ordered it right away, even after reading the negative reviews. So, it just arrived and I've watched it for the first time.
I'm disappointed and angry at the director. I think he had a poor concept of what the end result of his decisions would look like. The super-fast camera angle changes during fights in particular were a big mistake. In fact, I can't think of anything he did right.
The acting is great, of course. The whole cast is superb. Actually, everything about this movie is first-rate, except for the directing, and if I were rating based on that alone, I would have to give it a 1 since that's the lowest Amazon rating.
I don't regret buying it, but I wish I'd waited until the price went down some. I got it at $14.95, and the price will drop, probably pretty quickly, when the distributors realize they'll have to drop their price in order to sell all their stock.
So, buyer beware. This movie is not nearly as good as the first one. It's worth owning if you really enjoy watching Liam Neeson take out bad guys and be a hero. But read the reviews that detail all the bad points about the directing and believe them. If you still want to own it, as I did, and if like me, you haven't seen it yet, then at least you'll not be unaware when you watch it for the first time. My recommendation, though, is to rent it first, and decide for yourself how much you like it. I didn't rent it first because I'm that much of a Liam Neeson fan.
I very much enjoyed this movie. Maybe Taken 1 was a little better but Taken 2 was still great! (And, I will buy the DVD when it comes out.) There is just something real special about watching Liam Neeson go after these brutal, murdering creeps.
This time the film begins in Albania, where the bodies are being unloaded from the airplane -- the bodies of the bad guys that Neeson killed in Taken 1. As they are being buried, the grieving family surrounding the dead, the head guy and father of one or more of them, vows revenge against Neeson. (I mean, forget the fact that THEY started the whole thing by stealing his daughter.)
The scene shifts to Los Angeles, California, where Neeson's former wife is in the midst of a divorce from her second husband and the daughter is dating. Neeson is leaving for a couple of days of work in Instanbul and invites them to join him when the job is finished. As you probably guessed, all the excitement begins on foreign soil, as the bad guys go after Neeson and his family.
It is a great movie, with lots of action. Yes, some things seem a bit of a stretch, but then (like I always say) the movie you really want to see is the one where a super hero beats all the odds and does incredible things.
Will these bad guys EVER LEARN?
on October 10, 2012
The original Taken was an incredible movie, and Taken 2 has got some incredible moments. The main difference is that Bryan Mill's (Liam Neeson) family plays a much larger role in the sequel. While the first movie is about a lone wolf taking out bad guys like gnats on a summer day to get his daughter back, this one involves the family unit, so the experience, while using incredible action scenes, is a bit different.
There is also a little more down time in this film, as cheesy tender moments are used to work the audience up before mother and father are abducted by a psychotic terrorist hellbent on getting revenge as a result of Bryan killing his son.
This film provides tons of kills, explosions and everything else that makes a movie good, and it has some real cheese in it, leading up to the action you're wanting. I say go see this film. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one because I'd rather see Bryan go it alone, but this is still a great action film. I liked it enough to want there to be a third installment.
As for the cheese in the film, the script is pretty bad, especially the dialogue between father and daughter, father and ex-wife before the movie gets rolling, but Liam Neeson is a great actor, so he saves it from veering off to Dolph Lundgren or Steven Segal territory (Hey, I'm not saying their movies are bad, just saying the dialogue is).
Anyway, if you love action and like family films, this is the one for you, brother.
on November 23, 2012
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*Taken 2 (2012)- 1/5
Taken 2 is a sequel to the 2008 film (Taken) which is newly directed by Oliver Megaton. It stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, and Rade Sherbedgia. I love the first movie, so does Taken 2 live up to my expectations? Ha, it's not even in the same league, and it's the worst movie I've seen so far this year.
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) killed a lot of men while searching for his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), who was taken in Paris by a human trafficking ring. Family members of the men, whom he killed in the first film, are mourning those who died. Murad (Rade Sherbedgia) who's the employer of the men and father of Marko, a victim whom Bryan killed, swears revenge, and states that they will find Bryan to avenge the deaths of their loved ones. Murad and is men capture Bryan and his ex wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), while Kim lucks out and helps her parents escape death.
Taken 2 falls flat in every single way possible compared to the awesomeness of the first Taken movie. Let me start off by saying the only good thing about the film... (crickets), (crickets), (crickets)... That's right, there's nothing good to say about it.
There are so many 'I just rolled my eyes' moments in the film, and there's very little that's believable; While Bryan is involved in a gun standoff with Mured's men, the kind men let him whip out his phone to warn Kim that he and Lenore are being taken (I just rolled my eyes). Kim can't pass 2 driving tests, but she can throw grenades, do geometry, jump from rooftop to rooftop, and can drive like a stunt driver in a chase scene (I just rolled my eyes). Murad, who knows Bryan can kill just about anyone, gives Lenore a baby gash, hangs her upside down, tells Bryan, who's tied to a pole, that she's got 30 minutes until she dies, leaves the room with them unattended, and expects everything to go as plan (I just rolled my eyes). When Bryan obviously breaks free and saves Lenore, he later fights some of Murad's men, but somehow he's got special powers this time around; Bryan can simply put his hands on someone's face, and that person will instantly die (I just rolled myeyes).
The first Taken was far more energetic, there was more dialog, the villain isn't old and pathetic, and events were much more believable. Taken 2 is soulless compared to the first, and should be avoided at all costs as this is a simple cash grab. If you're a fan of the first (like me) and wanted a sequel, use your imagination instead, and continue to just watch the first Taken. If you couldn't tell by now, Taken 2 gets a recommended 'must-pass.'
One hopes for a return of a great story when they make a sequel. It doesn't happen here.
All the actors are back except for the rich husband who is now breaking up with Bryan Miles' (Liam Neeson) ex-wife, played by Famke Janssen. Miles suggests she and the daughter played by Maggie Grace join him in Istanbul after his little security gig is over. Of course, neither of them learned their lesson about staying home the first time and they surprise daddy in Istanbul so this plot can continue.
Sure enough they are followed, chased, fight and are captured i.e. Liam and Famke are caught by the family and extended family of the evil pandering, slave-trading, corrupt no-goodniks from Tripolie (pron. Tri-pool-ya), Albania who he killed in Paris in the first film. They manage to find out who he was by beating the French cop, and then by paying off someone in Tirana to find out where he was. As luck would have it, just over the border.
With a secret cell phone, Neeson manages to call his daughter who is hiding in the hotel from her would-be captors. She refuses to save herself and bravely states: "I can do this, Dad."
A 10th grader could have written a better story which held no surprises, hokey dialogue and implausible scenes like Liam talking to his daughter on his cell phone while he has a gun on someone and they have guns on him and his ex. They just stand there! Even the Krav Maga and Hapkido scenes were hard to follow and that 50 caliber machine gun would have split that car down the middle faster than a buzz saw.
You might ask several questions, as I did. How did someone in Tirana know that Bryan Miles would be in Istanbul? How did his captors not find the mini-cell phone? Why were their captors leaving them there tied up, to marinate? How come his ex-wife didn't scream at him at the end for asking her to join him in Turkey? How come this director wasn't traded to the Albanians for some future player to be named later?
This movie needs massive resuscitation. Only Liam's acting skill and his ability to portray a loving tender father and ex-husband while schizophrenically opening a severe can of whupas give this film a faint heartbeat.
My advice is to stay away from Taken 2 or you will be had.
on December 24, 2012
the first 1/2 is barely watchable with a forced script and dialog that push you along to the meat of the story. And what is the meat of the story? Terrible acting, a boring and predictable plot line with some car crashes. Such a massive disappointment!
on August 14, 2013
This sequel to "Taken" is more of the same, the first film was so believable & was a real no holds barred suspense thriller about a former CIA operative who knows his way around the world & gets the guys who take his daughter for the purpose of white slavery, he kills many of them in his quest to find her, & rescues her at the end, this follow-up had a good premise, with some family members of the people he killed in the first film wanting revenge, but I feel they really should have had the bad guys coming to Los Angeles to get their revenge rather than have another overseas mishap, some years have passed since the first film's events, & Liam Neeson once again commands the screen as a over protective father, there are some highlights such as him & his ex-wife(Famke Jansen) sort of re-connecting, but then he has a overseas assignment where he is protecting a world leader, once the job is done his ex-wife & daughter make a surprise appearance, this is where you really have to suspend belief, why would a daughter who was kidnapped want to take another overseas trip?, why would her mother want to even take her overseas after what happened in the first film, & why would Neeson even be happy they were there?...knowing the dangers all around them, what follows is more of the same as Neeson & Jansen are taken this time, & the daughter (Maggie Grace) has to help her parents, again there is so much suspension of disbelief here, when what they should have done is have the bad guys come to L.A. & Neeson fight them there, that would have been more believable, this like many sequels suffers from sheer laziness on the part of the filmakers who know they have an audience & do nothing different, this one has its share of action, but it could have been sooo much better!!...& it wasn't.....this one is a mixed bag for me.
on January 6, 2013
Loved Taken 1, so I gambled on this. Unfortunately, this was basically a rehash of the original. Taken 2 probably should have gone straight to video as one of those Walmart $9.99 blu ray specials. I guess if nobody watched part 1, then they'd be reasonably entertained by Liam's tough guy character. Best part was watching the car chase scenes where the idiot daughter (who didn't even have a license yet) was outrunning the equally idiotic goons. After the 4th dub of Liam saying "faster faster", I promised myself to never, ever, ever, ever, ever take a gamble on a sequel...
In summary, I didn't like this movie. Your experience may differ...
on February 17, 2013
Taken 2 is a typical sequel that does not match the quality of the original. Liam Neeson does his choreographed kung pao-fuey well and kills plenty of bad guys again, but the movie fails in other respects. First, in one scene he and his daughter (with her driving too well for someone still without a driver's license) burst into the courtyard of the US Embassy in Istanbul in a stolen Mercedes taxi seeking refuge from a group of bad guys chasing them. Apparently in the movie, the embassy has no vehicle barriers and no strong gate, and a taxi can take multiple hits from 50 cal. machine guns fired by a handful of guards and keep going. Second, after bursting onto the embassy grounds, Maggie Grace's character disappears from almost the rest of the movie only to reappear briefly back in Los Angeles at the end of the movie. Third, after they burst onto the embassy grounds, Neeson's character is suddenly shown roaming the streets of Istanbul again in search of his wife. How did he get out of the embassy so quickly even after shooting a Turkish cop during the car chase? That is not shown. The story suddenly jumps there.
Taken 2 is a waste of money since several elements of the story are nonsense. The same care was not taken with the sequel as with the original. Everyone involved in the movie seems to have shown up to simply collect a paycheck. Liam Neeson does not even say his trademark line as well as in the original.