Taken 2 (2012)
Dir: Olivier Megaton
The best thing about this is the director’s name! Just take a moment and say it… Olivier MEGA-TON!
Done?… Now I shall continue.
I liked ‘Taken’, I’ve seen it a couple of times and enjoyed the great casting of Liam Neeson, he fit the role of a highly-trained father that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of very well indeed. The film worked excellently as a stand-alone narrative, so well in fact that money dictated a sequel should be made… Why?
In the first film Kim (Maggie Grace) goes to Europe on holiday and gets ‘Taken’ by some human traffickers, who are completely unaware that her dad is a CIA man with a “very particular set of skills” that allow him to track her down and kill everyone that tries to stop him. So then why oh why would you want to come after him? Yet that’s what the fathers, brothers, sons, etc of those deceased decide to do.
I have much better and more interesting films to review, so I won’t take long on this. Sometimes films work perfectly on their own, and they really should be left alone at the risk of spoiling what was so good about the originals.
Take for example one of my favourite films ‘Donnie Darko’. It’s brilliantly unique, and has been much-loved, discussed, and became a cult favourite, so taking just one minor character, a sequel was made 8 years later, going straight to video and being hugely derided. So what was the point? Shouldn’t directors, producers and writers be looking to make films that don’t get picked apart on the fact of their mere meaningless existence?
Mark Kermode wittily referred to this as “Taken 2 the cleaners”, and the studio obviously don’t care that’s what they’re doing, as it went on to make $100m more than the original on a budget that was really surprisingly small. How long then before ‘Taken 3’ in which someone takes the family pet and they join forces to destroy an evil dog-napping syndicate?… Apparently not long. Producer Mark Kamen was quoted as saying, ‘We didn’t start talking about Taken 3 until we saw the numbers, but then we said, ‘Oh, okay. I think we should do a third one.’ And Fox wants us to do a third one. We’ve taken everyone we can take—it’s going to go in another direction. Should be interesting.’
Interesting? Possibly. Good? Unlikely. He thereby admitted that it’s all about the money, not making another film as they have a quality film that demands to be made. It’s a sad shame, but there’s nothing I can do about it.