Neeson Is Still Deadly, But The Movie Has Less Bite


I’ve been gone for a while so I apologize to those looking for my reviews.  However, I am back with my latest review on Liam Neeson newest film, Taken 2.  Surprised to see a sequel from an already great movie?  So was I and I was also a little disappointed to hear Hollywood make a sequel of an already complete story.  What were my thoughts on this movie?  Read on to find out

What is the story for a movie about a girl being kidnapped and an elite operative father going into the underworld to find her?  Simple another tale of kidnapping and rescue, with a little vengeance thrown into the mix to help find a justifiable, though cheap, reason for a sequel.  Yet the directors decided to throw a “twist” into this movie to barely escape robbing us of a good tale and that is the mother and Liam Neeson are kidnapped.  Some difference huh?

You might be saying, I go to see these movies for other reasons than a story Robbie, I go to see it for Liam Neeson because he is the man, the action of a fast plot, or in some cases to see a hot girl.  Will I get my money’s worth if I go for those things?  I’m happy to share my opinion on that, starting of course with Liam Neeson.  As you might have guess, Neeson once again plays the role of a stoic warrior with a mad set of skills, whose only weakness is a soft spot for his beloved daughter and wife.  His ability to transform from a gentleman into a killer still impresses me and the fact that he can say so much with little dialog is a skill I continue to admire.  Thus if you’re a fan of his previous movies, where he pretty much pays the same character, you are going to love him in this movie again.  However, something that was a little fresh in his role was a little humor mixed into his limited dialog.  It wasn’t the lines that were funny, but more of the delivery of the lines that had me chuckling.  His reaction and facial expression as he spoke these awkward lines helped deliver a punch to a rather dry dialog, which may not be what you’re going for in this movie, but is worth mentioning.

I suppose I should talk about the action for this movie though, as this series banks its success on adrenaline pumping scenes.  Well my friends, you’re in luck, this movie still has the qualities that made the first film so memorable.  Car chases, gun fights, and some martial arts are all mixed into a heaping combo of high octane action that will have young boys screaming wow, and Neeson fans clapping in their seats.  The directing staff did a nice job integrating the physical skills of a special ops agent, a.k.a Neeson beating the crap out of a bunch of terrorists, with the more subtle and calm skills of a tracker.  Just like in the first film, fans will most likely be saying Neeson is still a bad @$$ as ever, and shouldn’t’ be messed with.   Unfortunately there are a few flaws to the action.  The first is the jumpy camera work that is present throughout this whole movie.  While it is not the worst I have seen, many scenes were too jumpy or not filmed in the best manner to catch the most detail.  It might have been to bring a little chaos and intensity to the scene, my thoughts were more the camera crew had too much red bull and wanted to make the audience feel the same.  On top of that, the action is not as creative/intense as it was in the first film.  The urgency and suspense that kept us hooked into the film, was very diluted in this installment and the fact that most of the bad guys were not as sinister, evil, or threatening had me a little disappointed.  The result of this new direction is essentially the same action from the first movie, with a little less bite to it.

What else can I say about this movie?  Well for one thing the actress who plays Kim named Maggie Grace, is just a pretty as ever.  Instead of being the victim who is absent for most of the movie though, she instead has some guts that makes her worthy successor to her father’s skills, which could possibly motivate the producers to make Taken 3 I fear.  However, the additional screen time means more chances to view her beauty, something I think many male audience members will love.  Moving away from Kim though, the movie is a decent length and pace so that the already shallow plot does not become boring.  The musical score for this movie is also worth noting, as the orchestra work that plays during his gallant battles helps add that hope inspiring touch that helped pull me into the movie.  Unfortunately the ending to the movie was a little bland for me and a little boring to tell the truth.

Taken 2 is a decent sequel for the modern age.  Neeson fans will still enjoy seeing him kick bad guy butt, while remaining calm, cool, and best of all not overacting.  Without the suspense or urgency of the film though, the movie really lacks a key component to keep fans as in to the action.  My scores for this movie are below:

Action/Drama:  7.5

Movie Overall:  7.0-7.5

My suggestion wait for Netflix or Redbox before seeing this film, unless you need your fix of Neeson for the month.  So until then this is Robbie K signing off and reminding you to enjoy the movies.

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