Saturday, 20 October 2012

Taken 2

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV


Country of origin:France
Director: Olivier Megaton
Genre:Cynical cash-in abomination
Starring:Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
IMDB link:
Tagline:First they took his daughter. Now they're coming for him.
Favourite line:None worth mentioning

Surprise reprise, or series demise?

The plot:
Some time after the events of Taken The First, the Mills’ are settling back into normal life.
Kim, the daughter who was taken in the first movie, which was called Taken, presumably due to the fact that she was taken, and her fragrant Mutter Lenore (played by Famke Janssen, in remarkably good condition, ‘er) have a holiday planned but, when it falls through father Brian (Nigh On Lethal) suggest they accompany him to Istanbul.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, I’ll tell you, in case you hadn’t figured it out. See, the bad guys from Taken the First are not all dead, and the father of Marco, killed, wants revenge.
Before you can say Turkish blood bath, Nigh On and Lenore have been Taken Again, and the chase is on.

What a load of old cobblers this is.
The first film was made, in truth, to go straight to DVD, and was a surprise sleeper hit, mainly due to the fact that it had a boiled down, simple as you like plot, and plenty of hard as nails action sequences.
And it was pretty good.
This time round, they try to pull the exact same trick again, but with two fatal flaws. One, they hire franchise killer extraordinaire Olivier Megaton to direct who, despite the fabulous name, couldn’t direct his way out of a busy street. As a side issue, directors with silly names are generally to be avoided. Yeah, I’m looking right at you, McG. Wonder what the C stands for?
Two, the hard hitting action is derailed by the studio insistence on a 12a certificate.
Thusly deprived of any teeth, the film is going to live or die by either the building of tension, or by a crackling good script and narrative.
It has neither of those things.
The script itself could easily have been written by one of those fabled infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters, and I suggest that there are primates in laboratories today that would have turned their nose up had their name been attached to this drivel.
The narrative? Well, there isn’t one, save for running around the narrow alleyways of Istanbul with dodgy looking Eastern European sorts giving chase, looking all evil and foreign. Racist, much?
And as for the tension?
No suspense.
No surprises.
No sense of jeopardy.
No depth of characters to care about.
No skill in scene construction.
No talent in direction.
No point to this at all, in truth.
Megaton directs like a man who has seen Paul Greengrass’ Bourne movies – in particular, Bourne 3 – and thought “I know how to do that. Just shake the camera around a bit, and it will look all cutting edge and exciting.’ No, Mr. Megaton, it really, really won’t. What it will look is confused, rushed and lazy. Indeed, there are points where any sense of geography is lost altogether, and you have literally no idea who is where, doing what to who, or why.
Oh, and the centre piece action sequence - a car chase – is so amateurish you’ll be hard pressed stifling a chuckle.
Top all that off with a Thundercats ending, as a moment of feeble comedy lapses into the whole family laughing like imbeciles as the credits begin to roll, and what you have is a genuine disaster of a movie.
Absolutely shit, in every measurable way, this only earns a mark for the presence of the fabulous Famke Janssen.
The most dunderheaded cinematic release in quite some time.

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