I saw the first "Taken" movie and for it's genre, I didn't think it was half bad. I mean, it was better than "Commando" or any of the Steven Seagal films which use basically the same script. And at least it had a few cool sets, unlike "Under Siege," "Under Siege 2," "Passenger 57" and all the rest of the One Guy Kills Everyone Else One By One Until they Are All Dead Roll Credits Movies.
Me being me, the only two parts of the original "Taken" flick which really pissed me off took place in the first 15 minutes of the film, and the last two. The woman who plays Neeson's ex-wife was such a noxious Rhymes with Witch for those first fifteen minutes- every other word out of her mouth is an unnecessary put-down, and how the hell does she retain custody of their daughter after lying her spoiled ass off about their daughter's plans to follow U2 around Europe in order to get Liam's signature on a legal document? Man I hope she dies horribly in the sequel.
(Not to mention- but what kind of craptacular job did these people do in raising a teenager who would want to follow U2 around Europe? Unless this film takes place in 1988- come on!)
In the final two minutes Daughter- who was kidnapped, drugged, no doubt molested by countless guys while handcuffed to a bed--whose best friend was brutally murdered days earlier-- is a beaming, happy, perfectly stable teenage girl because she's being introduced to her favorite pop star Not Brittany Spears and will receive voice lessons and possibly a recording contract. Happy ending--?
As I've implied, the rest of the film is ok, just stunningly predictable. Liam tracks down his daughter's kidnappers and shoots them, breaks their necks, tortures them to death, etc. etc. etc. He experiences no injuries to himself until the very end, when he receives the standard Non-Fatal Flesh Wound (actually two- a sprained ankle which allows him to perform the required Final Moments Limp, and some kind of shoulder strain caused in the only competitive fight of the film, naturally coming at the very end so the injury sustained has ZERO impact on his ability to kill the Sheik from Central Casting.) Then we get the Way Too Happy ending.
Except, four years later, turns out we DIDN'T get the ending. Hollywood has decided that it left a few loose ends to tie up. Maybe we need to know if Liam's daughter became a pop star. Maybe we want the Bad Guys to get a shot at the ex-wife (I can see that.)
Or maybe "Taken" cost so little to make (no writers, no acting) and made so much money following one of the smoothest paths available to action filmmakers, they just couldn't resist giving us another one. Maybe Liam decided he might as well pick up some extra cash in between voicing Aslan in bad Narnia movies. Either way, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I'll probably go see this junk. Because what the heck- it's stupid fun, and maybe that awful ex will get her just desserts this time. Man that would make it so worth it.