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I’ll just get to the point: Taken 2 is an abysmal movie. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the original, but holy crap. There’s no plot, characters, or build-up of tension or suspense, and even though it clocked in at 92 minutes, it felt like only an hour. If Olivier Megaton keeps it up, he’ll be on my already-too-long list of action directors who just don’t get it.
The original Taken started out wth strong emotional ties to the characters. Taken 2, on the other hand, doesn’t care about the characters at all. It does as little as it possibly can to set up the contrived hostage situation, and once it gets the setting and “plot” out of the way, it settles into the most unnecessary and sloppy action I’ve seen in a while. As it turns out, the father of the guy Bryan Mills electrocuted to death in Taken wants revenge for the death of his son, so he kidnaps Mills’ wife in Istanbul. The whole movie is Mills following the bad guys around until he finally catches up with them and saves the day. It’s an obvious cash-grab by everyone involved in the making of this piece of crap.
Taken 2 – Trailer
The fights are incomprehensible. I’m not being overly-dramatic; I could not decipher a single punch or move in any of the fight scenes. In Taken, the fights were fast and furious, but the quick edits made total sense. This time around, it’s just a mess of shaky-cam nonsense and editing that never takes cause-and-effect or spacial awareness into account. It’s seriously some of the worst camerawork I’ve ever seen in an action movie.
The reason I felt like the movie was only an hour long is because nothing happens and then it’s all over. It starts out with Mills getting out of trouble in a matter of minutes. Then, he tracks his wife down in another few minutes. Of course, he barely misses the bad guys as they drag her away just out of his reach. Wash, rinse, and repeat. There’s a fight at the end, and then the credits roll. The only other thing I’ll mention is the awful, cheesy inclusion of Maggie Grace’s character’s driving. They make a point at the beginning of the movie to show how scared she is of getting a driver’s license and how much she sucks at parallel parking. So, when Mills gets into trouble in Istanbul, she’s (of course) forced to be the getaway driver. All of a sudden, she’s Kim Earnhardt, Jr. as she drifts around corners, smashes into police cars, and switches gears like it’s nobody’s business. What a bunch of crap. Skip this one unless you’re out of bathtubs to scrub.
– George Bell
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