Taken 2

Taken 2 poster
Here’s my only real beef with Taken 2: why would you throw away the ample pun titling opportunities?! The movie is crying out to be called differently or at least to employ a gloss on more standard title formatting. It’s great to watch Taken 2 online without consistently flashing to various related riffs that one wants to watch, either within the film (Liam Neeson shouting at the sky, Van Damme style) or without.

In a larger sense, though, this is emblematic of what’s wrong with Taken 2. The movie doggedly refuses to have any fun with its own proposterosity. Since we can all acknowledge that a sequel to Taken is preposterous, and we’re all here at the theatre anyway, the least the filmmakers could do to pay forward for our time is to release the movie for free. To a somewhat greater extent than Die Hard 2 and a lesser extent than Rocky 2, the poor schmucks tasked with the sequel are required to contrive a highly improbable plot in which the same highly improbable set of circumstances can happen to Brian Mills again. In the first film, over-amped dad (and former wetworks operative) Mills saw his daughter kidnapped by a European human trafficking ring, and Mills had to kill half of Paris to get her back. The full movie wasn’t particularly amazing, but Neeson was amazing in it, counterplaying his nobly heroic image in a series of modestly-successful action scenes.

Now, it’s time for you to watch Taken 2 online free, the extraordinary nature of the premise must be turned into the plotting equivalent of a rainy day: something which, apparently, happens quite a lot. Someone new must be kidnapped, and Mills must kill all and sundry to get them back. The film burns an inexcusable half-hour getting us to this point. This is what I call the Jurassic Park problem: we’re here to watch the dinosaurs, guys. Lose the first act and get to the island.

fighting on the street of Istanbul

In their way, the other Liam Neeson movies Unknown and The Grey were actually better than Taken 2 full movie can ever hope to be. This is also true for his latest movie Cold Pursuit where he plays snowplow driver who seeks revenge against the gangster who killed his son. The core pleasure of this movie was not its derp-de-derp plot, but rather the good clean fun of watching Neeson come unglued as a post-Bronson ass-kicker; Unknown and The Grey refocus this newfound Neeson hardassity on different plots and scenarios while faithfully retaining the core value proposition.

So, without much of a sense of invention and a hefty dollop of inherent stupidity, Taken 2 watch online free because still it is very good. It achieves the same kind of post-modern movie trashiness that its predecessor did, exploiting another European city (Istanbul this time, where apparently cops don’t panic much when multiple hand grenades are detonated along the roofline in the middle of the day) for various gunfights, car chases, and fisticuffs. As an asskicker, Neeson is veering towards the far edge of his prime, but for now, he’s still able to sell it. There’s at least one cell phone conversation, involving the T-word, that manages to be bracing and knowing, all at the same time. And as Brian’s wife, Famke Jannssen is perfectly serviceable as a victim with a bag over her head. (Actually, that’s not fair. Remember when she was Jean Grey and Xenia Onatopp in the space of five years? What happened to this career?)

My largest enjoyment to watch Taken 2 free online, though, will likely be one that the rest of the audience titters at the most: the transformation of Maggie Grace’s daughter character (still about ten years too old to convince us that she’s a giggling schoolgirl) into Brian Mills’ proper daughter, i.e. the person who gets stuff done when family members have been kidnapped.

on the rooftop with Maggie Grace (Kim)

I wouldn’t go so far as to call Shannon-from-Lost turning into an action hero a credible idea, but it is an appealing one for those six of us who felt Grace was better than that series knew what to do with. Grace shows what needs to show for the twenty or so minutes in which it requires it, in the movie’s best run of scenes online, as Kim helps his Dad. Although I would argue that once you’ve lead Turkish police on a high-speed chase in a stolen taxi cab, you should probably be free from having to pass your driving test back home.

Anyways. I hope when they get to next sequel they either a) set it in outer space, or b) do a crossover with Hangover 3, the other recent franchise picture that did little more than stupidly ape its predecessor in every achievable detail. Brian Miles vs. the Wolf Pack? I’m in. In the meantime, gauge your Taken 2 interest accordingly: there you can watch a shot of Liam Neeson in a suit, holding an envelope full of money, laughing. That’s the whole thing right there, isn’t it?

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller