Watching Taken 2 last night, I was quite disappointed with how under developed the story was. In fact, the overall plot was pretty much like its predecessor, except for 2 to 3 minutes scenes inserted here and there. One or two people were taken (just like the title “Taken” says), and the whole scenario revolved in the effort of trying to rescue those kidnapped loved ones. But why did both Taken 1 and 2 have to both involve family members? And why weren’t the writers creative enough to not pick up revenge (on the death of the evil son in Taken 1) as the villain’s motive in Taken 2? That I didn’t get.
I could even say that Taken 1 was much better than Taken 2, simply for the reason that the latter has become a simple follow-up to the story of its forerunner. Honestly, Taken 2 has become a waste of Liam Neeson.
We already know that despite in his 60s, Liam Neeson is the most solid, best actor to play action movies. But, there’s more to him than mere actions. Give him a break, writers! Do him justice. Write him more sophisticated scripts please. He’s not Arnold, nor even Statham. He could be Val Kilmer, or even better… he deserves scripts like Steven Seagal or Bruce Willis. Please lend him some character and give him more intricate stories. Learn from other big sequels such as Mission Impossible, James Bond, or Indiana Jones — no sequel is the continuation of the previous one in terms of main storyline. Good franchise usually highlights different stories in each of its sequels.
In Taken 1, we’ve seen his character’s, Bryan Mills’, desire to build good relationship with both his ex and daughter, trying to be a great father figure to her. Regardless his past mistakes of putting work as a number one priority, he had regretted them and tried to make amend. He wanted to be a family man. We already know all these. So why Taken 2 has to be about the same idea as well? I simply don’t get it!
Yes his daughter has become more courageous and daring in Taken 2. She has grown up. But showcasing his lovely daughter hanging out with her bf, or doing bits of actions — running around and driving frantically, following daddy’s instruction — hasn’t construed an escalation significantly worth watching. Similarly, putting his wife as a helpless victim doesn’t make the movie any more intriguing. Typical!
Furthermore, there were some awkward, rough transitions between scenes. How has Mill’s daughter, Kim, ended up back in her father’s hotel room after she was shown hidden in the closet of a neighbouring room? How has Mills escaped detainment and questionings in the U.S. Embassy so quickly to rescue his wife just in time before she was being tortured? How has Mills figured that his wife has been detained along the way to the original holding place while she was initially showcased to have been taken elsewhere in a van, away from the initial location?
Worst, the ending of the movie gave a hint that Taken 3 would actually, again, revolve around revenge in a most comical manner. Liam’s character, Mills, asked how many sons the villain has and he answered two; Mills killed one in Taken 1. So, he asked, “If I were to kill you now, would your other son avenge me?” And the villain said yes. Boring isn’t it?! Mills killed one son in Taken 1; he killed his blaming father in 2; and he would kill his other son, who’d similarly take Mill’s family out of revenge, in 3. What a series of sequels!
The only thing I love about Taken 2 was its portrayal of beautiful sceneries of Istanbul and the last shot of the pier from the sky.
I hope Taken 3 wouldn’t go along that same, mundane line. Otherwise, please just don’t do Taken 3.
Here are some reasons why I think Taken 3 should or shouldn’t be produced:
Go for it!
The only reason why the producers might consider to embark on Taken 3 is because Taken 2 has hit No. 1 in US’ box office, despite its negative reviews. So, the reason… money it is!
Why has it hit No. 1? I think many people had anticipated a better sequel than the well-received Taken 1. That’s the main reason they had flocked the theatres.
A NO NO!
- Disappointed with Taken 2 and anticipating its repeating revenge motive in Taken 3, movie-goers may not be as excited to look up for the third sequel.
- Taken 3 may not necessarily get into another box office top rankings due to its baffling predecessor.
- Seeing Liam Neeson doing similar things over and over again — though what his character could do are cool indeed — is simply irksome at some point.
- Mill’s family members have received more than enough highlights after Taken 1. To see them under the spotlight again in 2 is a blunder, tho tolerable still. But if they are there again in 3, taking the centre stage, I’d bet it would be infuriating.
I strongly feel that in order for Taken 3 to be as successful as Taken 1, and even better, the production team has to do major moves that will give audience reassurance that everything will be different, except for the iconic main character played by Neeson of course. They might have to incorporate a stronger villain character that is as compatible or even worse than Mills. Perhaps they may consider hiring top actors — if they can’t get Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Steven Seagal, or Al Pacino, I guess Sly or Arnold will do.
Most importantly, the story should be more well-written, more developed, more intricate. Not about family again. But maybe, Mills could participate in a large-scale, national security mission such as rescuing a kidnapped President, Prince of the Brunei Sultan, romantically involved with the daughter of a rich Arab King, etc. Just not another revenge please.
What about you? What do you think Taken 3 should be about?