The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Taken 2 Review

Ankur Chawla | Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This past spring I spent my semester abroad in Fremantle, Australia. During our first week there, we had the brilliant idea of watching “Taken” to serve as a warning of stranger danger. Naturally, I was scared for the next month that I was going to be taken into the underground world of suburban Australia.


The prevalence and defining nature of the first of the two “Taken” films was just how realistic it seemed. The villains were highly intelligent, organized and enigmatic. Meanwhile, Liam Neeson delivered powerful and memorable lines attributed to a well-written script and strong acting skills. The dialogue and storyline portrayed the intricate world of human trafficking and international security in a compelling and exciting way to make “Taken” a modern classic.


“Taken 2” was not.


Riddled with horrible dialogue, overly dramatic camerawork and an antagonist group that makes our political system seem organized and efficient, “Taken 2” was a sad box office stunt that you should not waste your time or money on.


Liam Neeson’s character is a former spy with a specific set of skills conducive to tracking down bad people and killing them. In the first movie, he tracks down a network of Eastern European human traffickers who had kidnapped his daughter and her friend. In the process, he snapped many necks and left a few dead bodies in his path. The sequel follows one of the deceased’s fathers in his quest for revenge against the man who killed his son.


While there is a similar, parallel story of Neeson’s character and his family members being taken while visiting a foreign country, there doesn’t exist the same level of intrigue and mystery surrounding their motives. Furthermore, a group of five of them is taken out while watching a soccer match and eating kebabs (I understand they’re crazy about that stuff in Europe, but it’s a silly way to go). They seemed incredibly unorganized and at times under qualified to go after anyone played by Liam Neeson.


Adding to the absurdity and unrealistic nature of the movie, one particular scene shows Neeson’s character with a concealed cell phone while handcuffed in a prison communicating to his daughter, Kim, who was still at their hotel. He directs her to throw grenades in a few particular directions trying to triangulate his particular location. Though admittedly a cool and clever tactic, I’m not sure how the detonation of live grenades in the densely populated city of Istanbul would go over with the locals and authorities (nor would I trust a teenage girl to throw a grenade any sort of safe distance with no practice).


“Taken 2” tries to take you in to theaters with promises of a similar thrill ride as the original, and unfortunately it does no such thing. With a lazy mess of a script and overly zealous “cinematography” it is no more exciting than Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz’s “Knight and Day” and with as much depth as any movie starring The Rock.



“Taken 2”

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

Director: Oliver Megaton

If you like: Bad action movies

1.5 Shamrocks of 5