Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Taken 2

There are sequels that feel just like that sequels made for the sole purpose of riding the coattails of their predecessor in an attempt to squeeze every last drop of revenue out of the franchise.  Taken 2 exemplifies that concept.  Gone is all the quality, creativity and authenticity of its forerunner reducing this picture to a stale, unengaging, barely entertaining carbon copy of the original.  Neeson looks great, but you can tell even he's bored as he returns as the conflicted former CIA superspy/family guy.  Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace reprise their roles, as well, however, playing their characters so over-the-top that they are almost cartoonish.  The action sequences are choppy and hard to follow, clearly masking the fact that the despite his cool on screen presence Neeson is aging and action may no longer be his forte.  Taken opened the door for Neeson to make a significant comeback as an action hero, and those fight sequences were well choreographed and flattered the star.   The opening story concept is sound, but it doesn't play, whether that is from poor script development or inferior directing, making it slightly intense but ending up simply mechanical and predictable.  That is unfortunate as the original was a generally disturbing and unique movie mixing action and suspense perfectly.   In the end, this was a paycheck for Neeson, and you feel that on the screen.  1 out of 5 kernels; despite all the negatives Neeson is still able to generate that brooding coolness that only he has perfected, this was certainly an unfortunate placement of that.

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