Movie Review: “Taken 2”

For a brief second, I got really excited when I heard about Taken 2. The first Taken was a great movie, filled with intense action scenes and a surprising amount of moral depth. However, Taken 2 failed to meet those high standards which the first movie had set. Oliver Megaton (yes, Megaton), who directed popular action flicks Transporter 3 and Colombiana, brings his action-movie chops to Taken 2, but it just doesn’t click. With his Transporter 3, Megaton captivated me with the over-the-top car chases and violent explosions, but failed to engage me intellectually.

Liam Neeson, looking almost too cool, in Taken 2

Now, with Taken 2, he tries to utilize the popular shaky camera fight scenes, which, in my opinion, only worked in the Bourne series. Hollywood has been pursuing this gritty, intense and dramatic style of fight scenes, but it usually never works: either the shots are too fast, or too slow. In the case of Taken 2, they were much too fast. It was difficult for me to actually see the fight taking place; all I saw was violently falling fists and grappling between characters. This excessive speed was also apparent in the story line, which jumped from scene to scene without much coherence. The movie’s jumpy, illogical approach was even seen in the casting of Liam Neeson. Though Neeson brings his lovably hardcore nature to the film, it seems a little unreasonable to think that a 60 year old man (even a former member of the CIA) could manage to take down dozens upon dozens of apparently insane Albanian mafia members.

Despite the rapid storyline and the absurd incongruity between Neeson’s age and his actions, the action was actually pretty engaging. Seeing a 60 year old man beat up packs of youthful Albanians was utterly pleasing–but it’s nonetheless undeniably ridiculous. It pains me to say this, but Liam Neeson’s glory days are over. Although I loved his performance in the original Taken, I was merely amused by him in Taken 2. With so many thoughtless sequels infiltrating the mainstream cinema, I expected Taken 2 to present an exciting alternative. It’s a shame it didn’t.

–Andrew Wagle, Contributing Writer

Posted by on October 17, 2012. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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