Movie Review #1: Taken 2

Taken 2

It is the first movie review on the Stephen O Show! I have not “firmed up” how exactly I am going to do this, so bear with me. I saw this movie with a ton of friends, which is my preferred way to “take in” a film. Whenever I do this, i will endeavor to also include their thoughts on the movie (although the ratings and conclusion will be my own). As usual, I will try to keep spoilers out of my reviews.

Let’s get right into it. Taken 2 is, as my friend Jon has said, the consummate sequel. It was made to make more money out of the success of the first movie. Now, of course, that is partly why ALL sequels are made, but in some cases (like this) it seems to be the only reason. It is basically the same concept with less plot, worse acting, etc. That being said, I am not saying that this movie was (total) crap.

Taken 2 has a lot more build-up and lead-in than the original. It actually feels slow in the beginning. The main problem I have with this movie (well, one of two) is that there is a ton of build up and then once the action revs up everything is over too quickly. I was really looking forward to the entire point of this movie, which is that Liam Neeson kills bad guys. It is why all of us are there to see the film, if you think about it. However, when Liam does start killing bad guys, the next thing you know the credits are rolling.

As I said, the beginning is pretty bunk. The entire setup and plot feels weak (why would you take your family to Istanbul after what happened to you overseas last time?!), but we know it is a necessary evil so that Liam can once again play the avenging angel.

I was expecting a weak plot, but what I was not expecting was the terrible dialog. There is a car chase scene where the same 3-4 lines are repeated over and over and over again. At first I was like, hmmm, but as the scene drags on you realize that it sounds like they just replayed them for the entire scene. Also, not to spoil anything but you will see some driving that is absolutely ludicrous for someone “just learning to drive”. Wow. Completely unbelievable. That entire scene is the worst part of the movie, even though I enjoyed it anyway (due to the fact I am a sucker for car chases).

When Liam gets to killing these terrible people, it’s awesome. Unfortunately, it’s just too short.

Conclusions & Ratings

To put it bluntly, not enough killing. I can put up with the bad dialog and the slow start, but you have to give a payoff. There was one, but I do not think it was sufficient. This wasn’t a bad movie, I wasn’t disappointed with it perse, but it wasn’t a great movie either. Decent. It was decent. Liam Neeson kills some bad guys, although in this reviewers opinion far too few of them.

I think we like movies like this because the people getting killed are the worst sort. The slave trade? No one is shedding any tears over these monsters’ deaths, and in fact you have that feeling that for every one of these people Liam Neeson kills, everyone’s children just got a little safer, and the world gets a little bit better. I like that.

Rip-off Factor: (you want a low score here) 3/5 – I really feel like we didnt get enough deaths for all the bad dialog and sludgy plot we endured. I would say unless you really love watching Liam Neeson do his thing (which I do), see a Matinee or better yet just wait for Redbox. I really don’t want a “Taken 3: The Takening” in a few years.
Glutton for Punishment: (you want a high score) 1.5/5 – The ONLY way I would see this again is if it was with a close friend who begged me to see it with them.
Plot: 1/5 – Plot was super weak. Four points for Liam.
Special Effects: N/A (not that kind of movie)
Acting: 1/5 – Bad. Very bad. Even Liam was phoning in the non-action scenes.
Man Score: 4.5/5 – Ignoring the boring bits, this was a great man movie! Car chase, violence, only thing lacking was explosions.
Overall: 2.5/5 – I like Liam Neeson doing his thing, so it gets a 2.5 out of 5. That being said, it wasnt amazing. Redbox or Vudu it.

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