OK, complete disclosure: I’ve never seen “Taken”. Everyone says how surprisingly good it is, and that’s mainly due to Liam Neeson being awesome, but I’ve never bothered. So this one could be a complete rehash of everything that happened in the first one, I couldn’t possibly comment. I do, however, have TONS of other problems with it.
Well, let’s start with Liam Neeson. I’ve seen him in three films this year (Battleship, Wrath of the Titans, and this, I’m not counting his cameo in The Dark Knight Rises) and in every single one he has been dreadful. I never know what the hell accent he’s attempting, whether he’s being American, or if he’s has a stroke. Most of the time, he sounds like Bane.
And despite the fact that I *know* he’s a good actor, he couldn’t phone this one in any harder, despite literally being on the phone for half the film. I mean, his character (I forget his name, I just thought of him as “Liam Neeson”) is like Robocop, he doesn’t actually have any personality. The opening scenes (that go on WAY too long) where their cosy home life is established, he looks ridiculous and uncomfortable, one scene where he’s messing around with his buddies made me cringe so much, I considered suicide.
Then there’s the rampant sexism. Any man in the film is cool, calm and collected. Even if they’re being brutally murdered. The only two women in the bloody thing (his ex-wife and daughter, played by Xenia Onatopp and Shannon Rutherford) both cry and whimper and beg for mercy or help or just leave everything to Liam Neeson to sort out. Occasionally, Shannon is allowed to do something but it’s always at the direct order of her father, rather than through any initiative or intelligence of her own.
Oh, and it’s pretty racist/Islamophobic too. It all takes place in Turkey (because nothing bad has ever happened in the safe haven of America EVA), and the American Embassy is seen as the safest place they could possibly go (Again, America = ALWAYS GOOD), and every single bad guy is “ethnic”. At one point, the wife is running through Istanbul and treats some women in burkas with suspicion FOR NO REASON, apparently that they’re wearing creepy Muslim clothes is good enough. Islamic music is actually used to set the scene of EVULS several times. IT’S 2012, FFS. It’s like the makers watched Team America and treated it as a hard hitting documentary on the troubles those damn Muslims are making, it’s utterly ridiculous.
If I had to make some good points, I’d say that the battle scenes aren’t bad (they’re not GOOD though, they’re badly shot and completely by-the-numbers) and there’s a car chase which is actually fairly enjoyable. That’s literally all I can think of. Soz, Qui-Gon.