Neeson takes dumbing down to new extremes in Taken 2
11:01 GMT, 5 October 2012
Taken 2 (12A)
Verdict: Take it away
The first Taken was the guiltiest of pleasures that found an appreciative audience, as Liam Neeson’s retired secret agent set about massacring foreigners who had kidnapped his teenage daughter.
In the sequel, so similar to the first it’s virtually a remake, Albanians ill-advisedly avenge Neeson’s killing of their loved ones by kidnapping him, his wife (Famke Janssen) and daughter (Maggie Grace). So, of course, he has to slaughter even more of them.
The decision to award this exceptionally violent film a 12A certificate is yet more evidence of galloping insanity at the British Board Of Film Classification.
Overkill: Liam Neeson back on the loose in Taken 2
The film’s big asset is Neeson. He is always authoritative, and — even at the age of 60 — the 6ft 4in actor convinces in the fight scenes.
That’s just as well, considering the abject script by Luc Besson and the explosion-obsessed direction of Olivier Megaton.
Some kind of nadir is reached when ex-CIA man Neeson decides to save himself and his daughter by driving a stolen taxi at the American soldiers and gates protecting the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul.
The authorities take this dead ringer for a terrorist attack with an unlikely calm.
Just as risibly, no one has the heart to tell Neeson that there isn’t an embassy in Istanbul, only a consulate-general. The embassy is, of course, in Turkey’s capital, Ankara. Dumbing down doesn’t come much dumber than this.