A trip home gave me a chance to catch some films with my movie buddies.
Sequels seem to fall along a spectrum. At one end, we have a sequel that’s pretty much a remake of the first movie. At the opposite, there is the sequel that’s so removed from the original, the title of “sequel” is questionable.
Taken 2 falls kind of close to the middle of that spectrum but not enough to be a truly great movie.
I did like that the movie acknowledged the previous one and had a lot of plot grow organically from it. Liam Neeson’s family is trying to recover from the trauma of the kidnapping, while those related to the ones Liam attacked go seeking for revenge. They also don’t entirely try recreating the first movie, though there are some moments that echo the first.
You can tell the movie’s downgraded to a PG-13 though, and it becomes even more blatant in the final act where the kills are rather mysterious in their method. I liked that the daughter got to help out a bit and that her help was realistic (she didn’t go all Xena on the terrorists). The car chase with her driving did stretch just a bit and grow old with some repeated lines and camera shots.
All in all, not bad and recommended to those who did like the first film and want to see more of “what happens after” but not as good or flawless as the first.
This was… interesting. It’s far less of a sci-fi tale than a morality play that uses sci-fi to examine the more question. It has a lot in common with Inception in that way except on a smaller scale/budget and with less devoted to the concepts & ideas provided by the sci-fi elements.
Also like Inception, the protagonist in this movie is… well a criminal asshole. And yet by the end of the movie you find yourself sympathizing with him, wanting him to find redemption. Even the “villains” of this movie you find yourself feeling sorry for and wishing they could find a happy ending as well. In some ways, this might be the most Christian movie I’ve seen in awhile, because one can start to see how Jesus could love everyone and wants to see them redeemed. It’s also the best movie I’ve seen in awhile that delivers a message, without preaching.
Of course the movie does have some violence, plenty of bad language and bits of nudity (this is a story of sinners after all) so only adults should watch. The effects and cinematography are adequate enough that it doesn’t detract from the story, although Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s makeup effects can be distracting at times.
I admit, this is a movie you don’t need to go to the theatre to watch. However, I’m glad I went to the theatre for this because it’s a rather creative and original movie. And I want to encourage Hollywood to make more like these by voting with my dollars.