The pReview Re-viewing of..
(it is highly recommended to view the trailer and THEN read)
(warning: Now is not the time for dick measuring!)
by Jeff Finck
Release Date: October 5, 2012
The premise: If you remember anything at all about the first Taken, chances are that it mainly just involves the recollection that Liam Neeson is about the last person on the entire planet that you'd want to pick a fight with. Also, if you and Liam Neeson were the last people on the planet, he'd assume that you kidnapped his daughter and he is going to kill you. Based entirely on characters Liam Neeson plays, I don't know why foreign governments don't hire Liam Neeson to go on retrieval missions as an International Face-Wrecker.. A position that I am positive exists. Well, in the year between the end of the first Taken and this next.. Uhmm.. Taking.. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and family (Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace) have apparently NOT been completely traumatized by jet-setting abroad, and now find themselves in the great crossroads country of Turkey, the only country well-documented to give you the "itis" after Thanksgiving. The vacation doesn't last very long, as Boris the Blade (Rade Šerbedžija) and company try to abduct the lot of them. Boris the Blade, who is actually called Murad Hoxha, is the father of one of Mills' daughter's abductors whom Mills casually killed the dick out of. Hoxha, as it turns out is the Albanian gangster leader, and is looking to star in his own spin-off movie:
The opening scene of the trailer is about to be an after school special on what NOT to do when you see Liam Neeson making a phone call. As a young girl disturbs Mr. Neeson in mid-mobile connection, he turns around, roundhouse kicks her in the eyelids, spins her around, throws her in a reverse headlock, then lifts her high in the air and proceeds to carpet bomb the hotel lobby with her skull fragments. At least, that's what would happen if the person interrupting him was anyone but his daughter. Luckily for the young woman, it IS his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), as well as his (ex?) wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). So, you know, Liam Neeson doesn't need to rouse his WWE championship tendencies!
As the trio settle into Istanbul for a lovely vacation of being in Turkey and NOT being kidnapped by Albanian sex traffickers, it seems as if Bryan Mills has finally defeated his dick measuring nemesis, Stuart (Xander Berkeley, who is absent from the cast list this time around for some reason..). He and his family take in some riverside fireworks and stay in a luxurious hotel, and seem to be finding some rest and relaxation, finally. Everything seems to be coming up Mills-house!
Then, a mysterious man (Rade Šerbedžija) attending a mass funeral begins lamenting the fact that Bryan Mills is the one responsible for all the bodies currently lying in the ground: The bodies of men, brothers, and sons. And if there is one thing a tyrannical overlord of a sex trafficking/drug-running organization will not abide, it is the death of his men, brothers, and sons! And so, a pact is drawn up: Before this summer is over, they will all lose their virginity! ..I mean, track Mills down, kill him, and then bury him. ..And probably kill the rest of his family for good measure.
Murad Hoxha, the mysterious man from before, makes good on his bad guy speech by actually trapping Bryan and Lenore in an alley. This is the moment in the trailer that basically sums up the entire movie.. Right before all hell breaks loose, Mills shows just how completely unconcerned he is with his current situation by making a phone call in mid stand-off to his daughter. He does warn her that her mother is about to be the name of the movie, and if she doesn't get her shit together, she will be, 2. I mean, too. Then Mills employs a maneuver called "Kill Everyone in My Path Just Like Before." Which is a very effective maneuver because A) It literally kills everyone in his path.. Just like before. And 2) That's it. It just kills everyone in his path just like before. So, as Mills makes like Christian Bale's Batman voice and tries to find out "WherreHisWifeIsss!!!", his daughter makes her escape through Istanbul.
At one point there is a time limit given and Mills has 30 minutes before.. Who knows? And who cares?? He and his daughter are about to make everyone who has even so much as talked to their captive family member their metaphorical bitches. Also, their literal bitches.
If I'm going to end my trailer with a montage of murder, mayhem, revenge, and Liam Neeson cooking fools, I can't think of a better theme song than haunting, ethereal singing.. It's so beautiful compared to all of those people dying. Because people dying isn't beautiful. There's all that poop, and stuff like that. Gross. Then, all of a sudden, the dialogue picks back up between Hoxha and Mills. Mills asks a very simple question, "Why are you so fucking awesome, Rade Šerbedžija?" I assume. And assuming things ALWAYS works out, just ask the Roman Empire! The other question (the one that he ACTUALLY asks) is that if he kills Hoxha, will his other sons come and seek revenge? The answer is, "Duh." And thank God for that! We'll have so many Taken sequels!!! I cannot wait to watch Bryan Mills dedicate the rest of his film-life to brutally winning at protecting things.
This sequel seems to be getting some mixed reception. I'm not entirely sure why, though. Taken was blasted by a lot of critics (it only has 58% positive reception on RottenTomatoes.com!) who say stuff like, "I have no dick.. This movie reminds me of that." And also, "I just want to be awesome. Liam Neeson's existence prevents that." However, the audience rating is at 83%. Most of the complaints are that Taken wasn't very high-brow. My question is, "Did it need to be?!" Taken was largely just a straightforward, point A to point B, death-ride full of exactly what you should be expecting from an action movie produced and written by Luc Besson. Go watch Léon: The Professional, or The Fifth Element, or Wasabi, or The Transporter: All fantastic action movies, not one of them made me walk away thinking, "You know what? I wish that movie would have made me think more." I WAS JUST ENTERTAINED! And that's all we should really be looking for in an action movie, isn't it? So what if Taken 2 is just Taken 1 with a different victim? As long as they keep the same formula, it should be spectacular: Ln + KfM - cP = FUCK YEAH! (or Liam Neeson plus Kidnapped Family Member minus Convoluted Plot = Absolute and Total Enjoyment.)