Taken 2 (Olivier Megaton, 2012)

Previously I have gone for the original sleeper hit, as such, it is easy as pie to review a this lazily-titled sequel (come on, Taken 2? I can come out with better title, how about Taken Again? or Taken 2: Wrong Place At the Wrong Time?). The similarities are all over the place. It has almost the same behind-the-scene crews where Luc Bessons produced it and wrote it with Robert Mark Kamen; same casts (father/husband, estrangled mother/wife, teenage daugther); the action still takes place at foreign soil, this time change from Paris to the hustle and bustle streets of Istanbul; and above all the same storyline (father comes to the rescue when his family is abducted by the Albanian hit-men)

The no nonsense Liam Nesson as Bryan Mills is back to kick some sorry asses. There is nothing to be said that has not been said before, but here I am rambling: Liam is the main reason I watched this rehash. He excelled in this role just as he did in the first movie. He is still the over-protective father of his daughter, and will use deadly force to paralyze any brutal threat, though when it comes having a relationship with his family, this is the same guy struggle to get along with his family.

The movie retains the grittiness of the hand to hand combat. Jackie Chan' fighting cheoreography, this is not. However the shaky camera work coupled with quick cuts during the fist fight gave my poor eyes a hard time to see whose limbs are punching whose bodies. The minor trouble with Taken 2 is some of plots' plausibleness plunges to a lower depth compare to the predecessor. You know that the suspension of disbelief is the viewing pre-requisite, but the requirement is wearing thin by now and could well be snapped in the inevitable Taken 3 (another unimaginative title?) judging from the current rate.

Sorry to say the law of diminishing quality returns appear in this sequel. But I suppose it will not matter much, a 90 minutes fast paced, heart pounding action thriller is akin to a quick fast food meal. In the end, if you are still wondering why you need to watch the rehash of Taken Mk. 1, take this as comfort: Liam Neeson will not carry the action movie role forever as he is in his 60s now. I wish he still got the extra oomph to act in action movie as he looks more believable as a ex-CIA agent compare with Steven Seagal as ex-Navy SEAL posed as a chef.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = Excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? Only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List

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