Let’s get right to it, shall we? I wasn’t as in love with Taken 2 as I wanted to be. Sure, it’s a great film with lots of fun action scenes, and tons of Liam Neeson punching people. But it just wasn’t the same.
Since it came out a couple of years ago, Taken (the original) has become quite the cult classic. While it didn’t do that well at the box office, people adore it, and most people (like myself) will watch it any time it’s on television, regardless of the channel or editing.
Its sequel comes flying at us, written and produced by Luc Besson who did the original, but not directed by him. And it’s clear that it’s directed by someone else, which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. I personally didn’t care for the directorial style during the fight scenes, but some of the cinematic shots of Istanbul and Los Angeles were quite nice.
Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, all around bad-ass kung-fu ninja with marksmanship to boot. Famke Janssen returns as his ex, mother of Kim (played by the never aging Maggie Grace), with a much larger role than the first film. Which, if you’re a fan of Famke, is a good thing for you.
Taken 2 has plenty of punching, shooting, and a pretty bitchin’ car chase scene where Kim herself gets to do the driving. The entire time she’s trying to elude bad guys, and her dad’s shooting at them out the passenger window, he’s yelling at her to drive faster. Which makes her more nervous. It’s both hilarious and awesome at the same time.
As we were leaving the theater, my movie going partner turned to me and asked what I thought, and I could only tell her that while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. In reading some other reviews before heading to the theater, it seems most others had the same reactions. It’s a good film, but it fails in comparison to the firm Taken film, which was one of my favorite movies the year it came out.
I won’t waste time in summarizing the plot for you, it’s really simple: revenge. Marco (from the first film) is dead, and his dad is pissed. That’s about all you need to know going into this. Dad wants Bryan dead. Bryan wants to not be dead, ergo, fighting.
I’d definitely see this again, and while it has its flaws, it’s also a great film to pass an hour and a half of your life. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s certainly a film worthy of taking your $10 at the box office.
After seeing the trailing for Unknown, my first thought was “It’s just like Taken!”. And in case you forgot, I loved Taken (review here).
Sadly, Liam Neeson doesn’t punch nearly enough people in Unknown. There is some punching, but not enough to make me want to sit and watch this every time it’s on HBO like I do with Taken.
Unknown follows Liam Neeson’s character (Dr. Martin Harris) to Germany, where he’s headed to present at a big biotechnology summit. He forgets his briefcase at the airport and in rushing back in a cab to retrieve it, gets into an accident. When he awakes four days later in the hospital, he realizes parts of his memory have gone missing. He goes to find his wife, played by January Jones (more on her later), and she doesn’t know him. Moreover, her husband (Dr. Martin Harris) comes over and insists that Liam Neeson’s Dr. Harris be arrested.
So on top of not remembering everything that happened, someone else has taken over his life. But why?
We spend the next hour or so trying to find out. There’s some twists, some turns, some gun fights, some car chases, and some punching. It’s interesting enough, and the “twist” (can Hollywood even make a movie without a twist these days?) is one you may not necessarily see coming. I liked most of the movie.
Except for January Jones. I’ll admit that I picked up “Mad Men” at Target when the blu-rays were $15 per season. It hasn’t been watched yet. With that said, I’ve never seen January Jones act before. And after watching this movie, of which she’s one of the main characters, I can still honestly say I haven’t seen her act. Unless her idea of “acting” is as terrible as what she did when she was onscreen during Unknown. I can’t recall anyone in a big Hollywood product that was as terrible as she was. And, to boot, she barely spoke throughout the entire movie, and she was still terrible.
I liked the movie just fine. It wasn’t my favorite movie I’ve seen recently, but it certainly wasn’t terrible (sans Jones). The scenes where Neeson is kicking ass are pretty great, I just wish there were more of them.