Monday, October 8, 2012

Taken 2

Synopsis: Brian Mills has to deal with more bad guys again, in the follow up to 2008's surprise hit movie "Taken". Substituting Istanbul for Paris this time, Mills falls foul of an Albanian mob boss seeking revenge for his son & friends offed in the first installment. Not only does he need to use his 'particular set of skills' again, he also has to pass them on to his daughter... Albeit, reluctantly.

Dad! OMG! Must you shoot that gun whilst I'm trying to drive? I can't concentrate! Grrrr...

There's a theory (Well founded if you look at any statistical records) about movie sequels - and the 'Law of diminishing returns' that is highly relevant when attempting to write a review about a movie like Taken 2. Basically, don't expect anything, presume nothing - and see what you get in return. Sometimes, the payoff is good - great even on occasion. Regrettably, most fall way short of the standard set by the first film. Where does this film fit then in regards to those points? Sadly, in the 'All-too-predictable-groan-here-comes-another-action-movie-cliche' category most emphatically. Is this a good thing? Yes - and no. Good - because that's just what you're expecting, No - because you expected slightly more this time around.

Liam Neeson is again, an intense imposing presence, dispensing his specific brand of justice when the Albanian mob go after the people that matter most to him. His daughter Kim - and ex-wife Lenore. The chief baddie (Murad - played by Rade Serbedzija) is a one dimensional cartoon cutout of a mob boss. Serbedzija has acted way better in other movies. In the context of this movie, you don't need him to be memorable - he just needs to be suitably effective enough. Call it acting if you will. Certainly don't call it a performance of distinction.

The only real changes for round two are the location (Istanbul for Paris) and the fact that daughter Kim is (after a few driving lessons) now capable of stunt car driving through the crowded backstreets of Istanbul! I noted the complete lack of exterior car shots showing her actually driving the car during the chase - all the camera shots were from inside the car. Picky as, but still, an ok addition to the canon of exhilarating movie car chase scenes.

Ok, no further merit in writing detailed screeds about all the various events in this film. No matter what I say about it, you (and many others) will go and see this movie. Its very much what it says on the tin. An action thriller, where a grizzled retired CIA operative does what he does best. Kill bad people who do despicable things. Especially when they threaten his family.

At the time of writing this review, Taken 2 has already made $50 million so far. I'm gonna go out on a limb here - and state the following (My pitch for part three. It will happen - trust me on this :)

"Four years later, with Brian Mills placed in critical care, daughter Kim steps up, demonstrating the unique knowledge passed on down to her, to avert yet another impending family crisis when another batch of very bad guys steal her baby!"

Jamies rating

J for... Job!

Update 17/10/2012. Taken 2 has now grossed over $222 Million worldwide - One of the producers has unofficially confirmed that the third installment "Is a given". Lets hope (hey - I'm an eternal optomist in these kinda matters!) it's going to do something different. We can, but pray. Right?

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