Don't Get Taken 2 the Cleaners
- Friday, October 05, 2012
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: October 5, 2012
Rating: PG-13 (for intense scenes of violence and action, and some sensuality)
Run Time: 91 min.
Director: Oliver Megaton
Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Leland Orson, Jon Gries, D.B. Sweeney, Luke Grimes
Kicking off the new season of Inside the Actor's Studio this week, Liam Neeson sat in front of a group of future actors and filmmakers and discussed everything from the privilege of playing Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s masterful Schindler’s List to getting back to his Irish roots three years later in Michael Collins where he portrayed the titular character, an unlikely hero who ended up being a key player in the establishment of the Irish Free State in the 1920s.
Neeson also addressed the more challenging aspects of acting in front of a blue screen in Star Wars: Episode I and waxed poetic on the rewards of sharing a stage with his wife, the late Natasha Richardson, on Broadway and the big screen in 1994’s Nell. Perhaps, trying to prove that he’s more than just "a serious actor," he talked about how fun it was making The A-Team and gave co-star Bradley Cooper (The Words) a big shout-out for his improvisational skills.
But when James Lipton asked him about 2009’s surprise hit Taken, Neeson’s successful foray into a full-on action star territory, he was noticeably uncomfortable. As it turns out, Liam thought the film was probably headed straight to video. Of course, when a movie that reportedly cost only $25 million to make grosses more than $226 million worldwide, a sequel was practically inevitable, not that Neeson wanted to talk much about it. After mumbling something about it having a "decent" script, they quickly cut to a clip where his character Bryan Mills was showcasing his particular set of skills yet again, namely showing the Albanians who's the boss (hint: it’s not Tony Danza).
Much like Die Hard 2 or more recently, The Hangover Part 2, where basically the same story is re-told with only a minor tweak here and there, Taken 2 is nothing more than a shameless copycat of its predecessor. Really, the only thing worth praising is the sheer bravado of trying to pass this off as something new and asking the audience to suspend their disbelief to this degree.
This time around, our fearless quinquaginarian is hoping to put his violent past behind him. Seemingly content with nothing more than knowing his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace, Breaking Dawn, Part 1) is safe (he’s not above spying via a chip in her iPhone to do so), his romantic prospects are looking up, too, since his ex-wife Lenore’s (Famke Janssen, The Ten) wealthy husband is basically exhibiting the same jerky behavior from the first movie.
Not surprisingly, all this newfound family bonding doesn’t last long. See, after being hired to be a bodyguard for a sheik in Istanbul, Bryan invites Kim and Lenore over for some much-deserved R&R after his assignment is completed. Unfortunately, as smart and resourceful as Bryan usually is when trouble’s lurking, he never considers the close proximity between Istanbul and Albania, the home of all the bad guys he killed in Taken.
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