Taken 2 (2012) - Olivier Megaton

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And we're back with Neeson punching out wolves, sorry I mean eastern Europeans with thick accents. I was never the biggest fan of the first film; it was a competently put together piece of nonsense but apart from that little speech which has turned into something that has infested the internet, there's nothing really there that's memorable. But it became something of a cult hit and so we have this sequel and another one in the pipeline. Neeson is back in Europe, Turkey in fact, with his ex-wife and daughter on vacation. Unfortunately for them the family of the people he killed rescuing Kim in the first film have vowed revenge and in a role reversal take Neeson and his wife and it's up to Kim to help them........

The most interesting thing about this film is the director's name. Megaton. That's pretty cool to be honest.

The rest I struggled to stay awake for. The fight scenes employ very quick cutaways that gave me a headache; due to the fact they wanted to slip it in as a 12A, the violence is toned down, there's none of the torture scenes of the first film and everything feels a lot tamer. And tired. Neeson, I struggle to say he acted competently, he just puts on a gruff voice, slouches around everywhere and looks moody. The rest of the cast are just there, screaming, grunting, running, being Neeson-cannon-fodder as required by the script. The script itself goes on far too long and there's no real tension, Neeson is never in any danger, which is fine, but you never even feel his family are in the slightest bit of danger or that the villains are not severely over-matched. At least with something like Commando you had a lot of humour and well Arnie hamming it up, or well just being himself, but it was great.

Perhaps in fact the film is a metaphor for America's imperialistic attitude to other countries; with Neeson killing people with abandon with no respect for the local authorities and laws, just to get what he wants because he knows best. Indulging in tortore, lack of due process and various other unsavoury acts in the first film with no remorse.....but no, I'm pretty sure it's just Neeson killing a hell of a lot of 'shifty European' people.

Don't bother with this tired and cynical cash-in. It has neither the visceral action that will cater for the fans who loved the original and it's tone is far too grim for a 12+ crowd. I only wish someone had taken this film, or even me, before I had wasted my time with it.

2/10

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