Sunday, June 9, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: Taken 2

2012, Olivier Megaton (Columbiana) -- download

If I was to trace my use of the phrase small movie I could probably sit it mostly at the doorstep of this movie's predecessor, Taken.  Of course, it would not be the first of such type movie that I enjoyed but it was the first that stood out, for its concise and focused plot, where I first thought about the nature of it. So again here, once again into the fray we go, where Liam Neeson's Brian Mills is put in a difficult situation and has to use his scary knowledge & skill to resolve it.  Again, that's it.

What I love about a well done sequel is a certain amount of pondering of what went on in the first movie, and how it affected the people in it. Mills' daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is recovering from her abduction ordeal but with a certain amount of expected PTSD. Mills himself has become less the doting father and more the over-protective body guard. If this was a different sequel, we might actually have reason to suspect Kim's new BF, but here it is as it should be -- a lens of Mills' justified paranoia. Meanwhile, the ex-wife has broken up with her wealthy husband, most likely related to the circumstances the year before. Mills offers a trip to Turkey to relieve some tension.  They accept.

Again only in good sequels, we see where the mooks in the first movie came from; the Albanian slaver traders had family and friends who mourned their deaths. Mourned and are now seeking revenge. This is the not the cliche "you killed my brother, now prepare to die" (forgive the mis-quote) of other action movies but more a reflection on exactly how many bodies Mills dropped.  And how they were connected -- basically most of the young men of a single village. So, Bad Guys take the time to study Mills and are quite thrilled when he brings his family into Turkey, so their misguided revenge plot can be fulfilled. But yeah, we know it doesn't work out for this branch of the family either.  Along the way the questions of back and forth revenge are asked as well as the age old question, "You knew your mooks were committing evil acts don't you? What else could happen to them?" But frustratingly, Bad Guys cannot see any path before them but the evil one.