Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Worst Sequel: Taken 2

And that is how Taken 2, sequel to Taken, the Liam-Neeson-saves-virgin-daughter from-Albanian-sex-slave-ring movie, begins. Just kidding! But it might as well be, because what actually happens in this Hollywood gravy train is just as implausible. For starters: Liam Neeson's daughter and ex-wife surprise him with a visit to a hotel in Istanbul. (Ex-husbands LOVE when their ex-wives join them abroad. Like that's a totally normal thing to do.) Then, it turns out that the Albanian sex ring dudes are already living there, and boy, do they want vengeance! (They've been waiting around for like three years.) And, strangely, the daughter seems to have no residual bad feelings about staying by herself in hotel rooms (after being kidnapped from one and almost sold to a fat Eastern European guy).  Worse, even the action is predictable to the point of being boring. I hate to say it, but watching Liam Neeson in hand-to-hand combat these days is basically like watching a Humira commercial ("Look how good my joints are working!").

The thing is, it's really not hard for an action movie to be entertaining. It's an action movie. But Taken 2's unforgivable sin is that it's damn lazy. In lieu of character development, the sequelrelies on a gazillion flashbacks to its predecessor to remind us what's actually at stake for everyone here.  Everyone being the cast of characters pulled straight from the "Make Your Own Action Movie " box: corrupt police chief, overprotective dad, sadist bad guy, sleeping guard, etc. A friend of mine once defined a being a hack as "doing a poor imitation of yourself." There's really no better word for this movie. Taken 2 is a hack.

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