'Taken 2' Review By Bawnian©-Dexeus
Like Hangover 2, but a bullet better
Directed by: Oliver Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen.
Clearly, Kim's music career bombed. After the events of Taken, life between Bryan Mills (Neeson), his daughter Kim (Grace) and his ex wife Lenore (Janssen) have sort of improved. Bryan is more involved in his daughter's life, like helping her prepare for her driving exam after failing it three times. Also, he discovers that his little girl isn't such a little girl anymore (Obviously, I mean, the actress is around 30 and she's playing a teenager). She has found love in her life, and knowing father's with their daughters, that's a big bomb waiting to explode. His ex-wife, Lenore is now feeling lonely after her second husband from the previous movie has left her, which opens up the possibility of a failed marriage now a rekindled love. Surprising Bryan in Istanbul, the Mills family is sought out by the the people's family Bryan killed, for vengeance.
This is the basic story. Liam Neeson's character kills a lot of men searching for his daughter from entering an eternal slave trade, and the father of one of his victims (Mr. "good luck" charm) Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija) wants to punish Mills, even though it's his son's fault, but like Neeson's characters, this father is out for revenge, much like the first movie, so the story has our main characters as the enemy rather than the heroes, when you think about it that is. It's the same, but they tackle it sort of differently.
The bad thing is, and I don't know if it was the change in directors, but the action took a toll this time. Whether it was the awkwardly fast editing or the lack of upper level choreographers, one of the first face offs between Neeson's character and some goons was atrocious. The sound mix was below it's expensive production (In mundane terms) that one might assume this sequel was rushed to a point that the studio might have not cared enough to pay close attention to the draft edition. Next you have the lead character taking his time, or rather, the writer took his time developing Mr. Mills's secondary skills that he mentioned in the previous film that we didn't get to see at full capacity. He pays attention with two of his five sense to detail when retracing his steps or getting his daughter to save his ass. I'm not saying it's a terrible idea, I'm saying the execution could have used more fast paced focus and depth of mise-en-scene then used initially. Also, given the fact that another important character was in the close line to death, you'd think Mr. Besson could have made his character run, rather than walk.
At the point that I was beginning to get uncomfortable in my seat, the movie manages to restore its credibility with certain face offs with Brian Mills and his adversaries that had me screaming in my head "FINALLY!!!", indicating that this was what the movie should had been achieving since the commencement of the second act. All bets are off, and I got my money's worth, or at least four dollars of it, with the other four dollars and fifty cents down the drain. Regardless, where most of the action and execution fails, the strong performances by the supporting roles makes up for the mistakes. And, you know how sometimes movies have certain quotes spoken by the protagonist, that you can't really decipher if it's meant for entertainment or an actually plausibility? Know what I mean?
"Because I am tired of it all"
Overall, while Taken 2 does not match or even exceed it's predecessor, it manages to give the expected entertainment to the average viewer, without joy of wanting a third one...even though it's coming.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.