For the record, I think we all loved the original Taken. It caught us off guard with an original story that kept us on the edge of our seats, and introduced us to this bad-ass version of Liam Neeson. But Taken 2, my how you have failed us all!
This movie has the two basic needs of a sequel actually working for it: a returning cast and a continuing and progressive story. Other than that, it’s a jumbled, misplaced mess. The execution is terrible, the writing is terrible, the performances are forced, and most importantly: the film just takes us nowhere. I finally had a chance to see the film last week, going against the grain of all the negative reviews and hoping to form my own opinion, entering the theater with an open mind and a bucket full of popcorn. And by mid-movie, I was ready to pack it all in.
Note: I loved the first Taken film and I had high hopes for this sequel, regardless of the all the negative reviews that had been out prior to my viewing. I approach most films with any open mind and a bit of excitement, especially with sequels.
With that said, here we go:
1. The Plot: A Great Follow -Up Idea That’s Actually Rather Boring
The trailers showed promise. Everyone is back, reprising their roles, and this time Mom gets “taken.” The storyline shown in the trailer details the expected follow through of the original film, with retribution coming for the man with a special set of skills that killed so many. However, somehow, someway the filmmakers managed to get off track: there’s no sense of urgency. None. We know the kidnapping of Mom is imminent, but her actual apprehension takes us nowhere. With the original film, we had to travel across the globe to get the daughter back; with the sequel, she’s in the same city and she’s rarely in actual trouble. So the mother gets “taken,” are we supposed to be afraid for her, because we aren’t exactly made to feel that way. The stakes needed to be much higher than only this, and they just weren’t.
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