The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

October 29, 2012

‘Looper’: back to the present from the future


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?”


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Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Doug Creamer Friends and contentment

    Last week I made my annual trip up the mountain to Sparta. My friends have a secluded home near a babbling brook. Their home and property are a haven for peace. It’s a two-plus hour ride to their home that doesn’t feel that long because I look so forward to my time with this great couple. When I arrive, the conversation seems to pick up right where we left it the last time we saw each other.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thanks for the honest deed

    I would like to thank the person that found my wallet in the parking lot of Harris Teeter on July 23 and turned it in to the Albemarle Police.

    July 29, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • We need your help

    Hurray for the Albemarle City Council. Council plans to battle N.C. Department of Transportation’s ranking of all 13 projects in Stanly County to the bottom of their priority list. Council is setting up petitions in various city buildings for citizens to sign.

    July 28, 2014

  • Council asks veterans to seek office

    The terms of office for the leaders of the Stanly County Veterans Council ended June 30. A call is being sent to veterans council members requesting candidates for the four elective offices of the council. A meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the DAV building. All council members are urged to attend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Mike Walden The gains and gaps in our economy

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd Yellow journalism takes on new form, people are dumber for it

    Time to get on the soapbox for a few minutes.
    Let me clear my throat. Eh ... hem!
    People are dumb.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

    RALEIGH – A busy slate of judicial elections this November got even busier recently when Judge John Martin of the N.C. Court of Appeals announced his retirement.
    A special statewide election to fill Martin’s seat will be added to the general election ballot, joining the four N.C. Supreme Court seats and three N.C. Court of Appeals races already slated for this fall.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Fake news or sign of some more trouble?

    RALEIGH – Of the three situations I can recall where agencies receiving large sums of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t divulge employees’ salaries, two of them ended badly. The third – involving a group of charter schools in Southeastern North Carolina – is playing out right now.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    WASHINGTON - The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

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