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Customer Review

264 of 295 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great story but horrible directing, October 6, 2012
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This review is from: Taken 2 (DVD)
"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.
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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 6, 2012 8:55:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 6, 2012 8:57:16 PM PDT
Good summary on the fast cuts during fights. The directing/editing/cinematography for the fight and chase scenes was poorly done, since it was very hard to figure out what exactly was going on. Who punched who, what are we watching here but a series of fast cuts that don't add up to a clear view of the action.
As you say, it's probably the director who let that slide by if they were short on time or just didn't care to choreograph the scene. The final fight scene was pretty good and slightly easier to follow to my relief.
Lord of the Rings and Black Hawk Down and a lot more movies, sometimes were guilty of the same fast cuts during the action scenes, resulting in "What just happened there?"
I just watched Hellboy II. Amazing, easy to follow action, they should take notes from Del Toro's cinematography, editing, direction.

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 6:27:38 PM PDT
Giacomo Noto says:
your right,my eyes were all over the place

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 5:27:49 AM PDT
"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 guess Liam still had some of that Jedi mojo going (LOL).

Very good synopsis, especially regarding the "queasy-cam".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 7:51:49 PM PST
Optimus Neo says:
Lol!! Yeah, it was Qui-Gon flashback from his previous life as a Jedi. Lol! I can't stop laughing from that! Sorry.

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 7:11:37 AM PST
"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."

This was one of the parts that bothered me the most about the movie. It honestly looked like he just mushed his face and I was like "Wait... is that guy dead?". I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this film but it was nowhere near as good as the first movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 4:45:05 AM PST
"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."

What seems like everyone didn't notice was the row of decorative knobs or whatever that was along the wall in that scene. The "knob" must have struck him in the back of the head and penetrated the skull. If you pause it, you can clearly see it in a previous scene during the sequence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 12:32:59 PM PST
That is true, that is how he killed the main guy. But the kill they are talking about was right before that, the one-on-one fight. It seems that he broke the guy's neck, but it was hard to tell because there was no sound or any real twisting of the neck.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 5:55:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 7:32:30 AM PST
I was talking about the final kill on the main villian. I noticed the valves or knobs and assumed that was what did the trick but it still looked absolutely silly. I've only seen the film once but I honestly wasn't sure if the guy was alive or dead for a moment after the gentle face caress. I assumed he was dead by the blank stare on the actors face after the fact but I shouldn't have even had to assume it.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 8:20:43 AM PST
Dead_Cow says:
This confirms what I saw in the "extended trailer" offered on Amazon through it's app. I did not enjoy the preview because of the shifting of camera angles so much in it.

I also did not find it plausible that the "bad guys" would stop their attack to allow Liam to make a 5 minute phone call to his daughter describing what is going on. "Oh, hold on, he needs to make a quick call, everyone hang back!"

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 9:15:23 AM PST
He was giving up because his ex-wife was going to be killed if he didn't surrender. The phone call was to inform his daughter of what is going to happen.
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