October 20, 2012

Taken 2

Before I start, you have to understand how much I liked the first movie of Taken. It was action-packed, intensely satisfying. I really enjoyed every second of it. The moment I left the cinemas, I started hoping they'd make a sequel. Imagine my surprise and joy when I learned that they did decide to make a part 2. Then it got me thinking, how will they match the success of the first film? Moreover, what will be their story? I didn't want taken 2 to end up like a Hangover 2 and have the same thing happen again, with some minor changes Hangover 2 did maintain the entertainment quality of the first, but at the same time, I wanted something more thrilling for Taken 2.

I finally had the chance to check the movie out, and I'd say they were able to maintain the core elements that made me like the first film. It had the same level of thrill, of excitement, of passion, and of course, action. I guess it's safe to share what's different in this movie compared to the first, since they basically showed it in the trailer. This time, the relatives of the people Bryan killed in the first movie are out to take their revenge. Their course of action will include taking him, and his family. However unlike the first movie, Kim would be helping his father locate her mother when the enemies successfully took Lenore. I thought that was impressive; Kim being a heroine, instead of a victim, or a damsel in distress. It also took Maggie Grace's performance to a new level, I thought.

My favorite scene included the roof top. For those who have seen the movie, I thought that scene was the stand-out scene in the entire movie. I can't necessarily pinpoint why, but I really liked that scene, with Kim saving her parents from dying, Bryan trying to save his child from those chasing her. It's multi-dimensional and it played out brilliantly. The final fighting scene was just impressive. It had a lot of tricks but it still felt passionate. I guess the main reason why people looked forward to this movie was the action scenes, and I don't think anyone would be disappointed by that.

If I'll be complete honest, the first movie definitely was better, although I thought the second movie did a decent attempt in matching the first one. The second movie was a little loose compared to the first one wherein every single detail had something to contribute to the movie. Taken 2 was an intact movie, but I guess the first one had just a bit more fire to it. I'll also say that I was more impressed with Maggie Grace this time around. She has grown into a refine lady with a performance that impressed me. She maintained the fragility of her character, but she also showcased strength. I also took notice more of Famke Janssen this time around, probably because she got a lot more airtime in the second movie. I liked that about it. Above all, I'll always be a Liam Neeson fan. He just has this ability to transform his characters to someone people can identify with. I don't have to say much, we've all witnessed the caliber of Liam Neeson in movie or the other.

I did like the second movie. It had the same level of energy as the first, and it was able to maintain everything that was good in the first movie. Probably fell short on some department, but definitely not on the entertainment value. It was thrilling and moving and it delivered what it promised it would: action. Olivier Megaton, the director, did a fine job creating this movie, especially after the success of the first one. Luc Besson, the writer and producer of both films, really has a creative mind, and an artistic point of view when it comes to telling stories.

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