Tag Archives: Liam Neeson

Old Movie Review: Taken 2 (2012)

I enjoyed the original “Taken” movie when it first came out, so, a friend and I thought we’d take a gander at the sequel “Taken 2.” It stars Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and a few other actors and actresses I’m not familiar with. Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a retired CIA operative, and Famke Janssen plays Mills’ ex-wife, Lenore. They have a daughter, Kim, (played by Maggie Grace).

 

The movie begins slowly. Bryan arrives at Lenore’s house to give Kim a driving lesson. But she’s at her boyfriend’s. This section of the movie serves only to play up Bryan’s aspect as being overprotective (he has a background check done on the boyfriend) and to establish that the main players are leading relatively normal lives in the good old USA. Then, Bryan goes to Istanbul where he has a security job for three days. Lenore and Kim join him after he is done; it is meant as a kind of gift to Lenore who is in the midst of a very nasty divorce. Of course, that’s when things go wrong.

 

In the preceding movie, “Taken,” Bryan wiped out a whole slew of bad guys; it was a ring of criminals who had abducted his daughter with the intent to sell her as a sex slave. Of course, it is an unwritten rule of nature: If you kill somebody, regardless of the reason, someone somewhere else will be upset. In this case, the dead criminals come from a family of criminals, who are now quite irked at Bryan and are intent on evening the score. They set out to Istanbul to do so. They kidnap Bryan and Lenore, and almost do the same to Kim. And then, the real fun begins. There is a lot of killing and violence. Bryan proves himself to be one of the deadliest people alive as he wades through bad guys like a scythe through wheat.

 

Strengths: well, this was a hardcore action movie, with lots of death and hand to hand combat. If you like that stuff, you’ll probably like this movie. For what it was, it was decent. The storyline held together well. The acting was pretty good. And there were no looming plot holes. Weaknesses: in my opinion, this movie was made simply to make more money from the “Taken” concept. It was very short, 92 minutes, and even the storyline seemed to be a kind of straight line from point A (kidnapping) to point B (relentless slaughter of everybody), with very few perturbations from the path. There were no twists or turns; the whole point of the movie seemed to be just an emphasis on Bryan’s skills. He handled the bad guys with relative ease.

 

In the end, I’ll give this movie three and a half out of five stars.

Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans

First, there was Clash of the Titans, the remake of the film of the same name from the 1980’s. Although I liked the original better, I may be biased because that was one of the first adventure films I ever saw growing up, and I saw it at a very impressionable young age. In any event, I did like the remake fairly well. Particularly, I liked the fact that they took some liberties with the original story; I see no point in seeing the same movie just with different actors. Wrath of the Titans picks up several years after Clash of the Titans leaves off. Perseus, played by Sam Worthington, is now a father; his wife, unfortunately, has passed away, though. Perseus is informed by his father, Zeus, played by Liam Neeson, that the walls of Tartarus are beginning to fall; the apostasy of humanity is leading to a weakening of the power of the gods; hence, the prison of the underworld is weakening.

 

At this point, I feel the need to digress on a somewhat theological point. I have mixed feelings about the theology presented in the movie. I know, it’s just a movie, and the truth about gods and God is most probably unknowable for us mere mortals. But the basic premise of the movie is that the gods are dependent upon humans; they need their prayers to sustain their power. All throughout the film, there is an undertone that humans shouldn’t pray to the gods. Of course, in the movie, some of the gods have turned against the humans, so perhaps it is a semi-justified course of action. Still, I can’t help but feel that the film has very strong anti-god undercurrents which can be extrapolated into anti-God undercurrents. And I’m not sure that is a good thing as a social development, let alone as a movie whose target audience includes the young (I think it was PG-13, but I could be wrong). But, like I said, this is just a digression—one I could go on and on about, but I will not.

 

Anyway, the movie as a whole was a decent action flick. I did not see it in 3-D, because I’ve decided 3D effects aren’t worth the extra three bucks. Still, the action flowed, everything made a kind of cohesive unit. And the characters were… uh, okay, and the acting was decent. Beyond my theological issue, there were no major flaws in the movie, unless you want to get picky about actual Greek mythology (e.g. Perseus wasn’t the hero who fought the chimera, or the minotaur, or whatever).

 

Ultimately, I think it was a decent flick, but not exceptional. I’ll give it three out of five stars. And I do feel obliged to note that some religious people may be offended for the reasons given above.