Monday, October 29, 2012 —
‘Taken 2’: What will
they take next?
I should begin by saying I was not a big fan of the original “Taken.” I am sure that shocks many action film fans, but it just seemed to be a very violent and equally implausible film. The hero participated in too many outrageous acts without any serious consequences to himself. I guess for this reason alone, “Taken 2” is necessary. From the start of the new film, consequences abound.
And an audience is born. “Taken” grossed $145 million during its entire run in theaters. “Taken 2” has already grossed $91 million in 13 days. In the past four years interest in these characters seems to have grown and who knows where “Taken 2’s” ticket sales will finally end up. By the end of the film’s third weekend, it should be among the top grossing 15 films of 2012.
Most likely all those fans that have rushed out to the theaters the first two weekends of release (“Taken 2” held the No. 1 spot both weekends) were quite satisfied with what they saw. Once again, Bryan Mills, a very uniquely skilled man, is in a foreign country. In the first film he went to Paris after his daughter Kim is kidnapped. “Taken 2” has the daughter and her mother joining Bryan in Istanbul for a holiday. Relatives of the men who took Kim in the first film now want revenge for what Bryan did to their family. Their plan is to abduct all three, but they only end up with two. The rest of the film plays out in a way very similar to the first film.
“Taken 2” is not a bad film. I have seen much worse this year. Then again, there is nothing about the film that moves me to think or feel much at all. I will not be quoting lines from this film for years to come, nor could I even remember the characters names without looking them up.
And once again, there is a great deal of gun violence, though little blood so the film could keep a PG-13 rating. I have seen enough blood in films to last me for the rest of my life, but when killing, even the killing of villains, is depicted in such a sanitary style, it does seem to glorify violence in an offensive way.
And as with the first film, the heroes do all sorts of things which are reckless and endanger innocent bystanders just so they can pursue their goals. I am not sure this creates a righteous impression of who the good guys are; rather it seems their personal goals matter more than the safety and security of all others.
One could argue the same thing for Jason Bourne or James Bond, I suppose. Most likely, I am just overthinking it. I am not the target audience for this film.
I did like the Turkish setting, the cinematography and the pacing of the film. At 92 minutes there is not enough time to get too frustrated with the film’s weaknesses. Then there is one moment toward the end which actually gave me a little hope for the film; there was real emotion there. I will let future watchers discover that for themselves.
During the climax of the film, it seems pretty obvious that the filmmakers are hoping for a third installment. Words are spoken that leave little doubt. And with the box office success of this sequel, it seems obvious that another film will soon begin production. I guess the only real question is, “What will they take next? The (unseen) dog or maybe the boyfriend?”