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martes, febrero 27, 2024

Taken 2 ***

Taken 2 ***

Taken 2. A sequel that does not disappoint, although it is less frenetic than the first.

The first installment of Taken was pleasantly surprised by his unabashed proposal unapologetic action film, ready to exploit a conventional argument making the most of his protagonist. See Liam Neeson, with all his talent and his presence on camera, become a kind of version of the type-series of characters that are iconic actors starring in action films such as Steven Segal was refreshing. Now the sequel to that film tries to repeat the move. Deleted the surprise factor, Taken 2 goes to exploit what we already know of its protagonist, the vengeful father, when the hunter becomes the prey. The novelty, if any, is in the location where the plot unfolds, Istanbul, and the fact that this time the protagonist share the ordeal with his wife and daughter at the same time.

More relaxed than the first installment in his boot, this second film seems to take things more calmly when presenting the characters and before the outbreak of the action, but has the same success in making the simplicity of a powerful approach ally to tell their story and cleverly exploit Neeson’s ability to sell any kind of story. On occasion I mentioned already that the actor is now something like a kind of John Wayne that by itself can sustain any kind of argument only appear on screen and look for others faced with a nasty temper.

The formula works on Taken 2 is the same as has been applied to the operation of the charisma of the main characters from the film when the discovered that powerful weapon to sell stories that are the stars. In the previous movie we needed to submit Neeson’s character, but it does not. Just for us to consider: What will happen when these poor guys angry Liam Neeson? This is similar to what happened with Bruce Willis in Die Hard sequels, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, with Stallone in Rambo, with any John Wayne movie in his later years, with Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry´s films, with Charles Bronson embodying the avenger in Death Wish saga … The spectator goes to the theater expecting to see what happens when one of these action movie star is brought to unleash their just revenge who dare bother anyway. Ultimately, the key is predictability. The good thing is that Taken series protagonist is one of the best actors of his generation and has also proved remarkably competent action sequences. Neeson’s talent as an actor is what sustains the situations that your character is gone, for topical or that seem implausible. His charisma and star before the camera does the rest of the work in the action sequences.

The most common in action movies is that it is the action itself, the visual spectacle, what we «sell» the story. In Taken 2 the key to this franchise is the solvency of solidly Neeson to build his character in everyday moments that sustains all the nonsense string of exciting action sequences that follows. Because in this case, as in the previous film, once the mechanism is triggered action starts, it will not stop until the end of the film. So the start, those first moments of history are most important and which establish the difference Taken franchise over other proposals for action movies coming to theaters.

Neeson is in charge of all his personality to give this formula avoidance, distancing it from the average of such shows often offer commercial cinema. Neeson just makes people accept the unacceptable ellipses of this saga. In the first installment, the jump from the end of the rescue boat to arrive at the airport in the United States, without consequences for the protagonist despite the havoc that organizes in Paris. In this second installment of ellipsis between entry into the U.S. embassy in Istanbul, and then the rescue mission. We accept these and other improbabilities because Neeson sells us his character and history to the creditworthiness of a John Wayne by selling Rio Bravo, El Dorado or The Sons of Katie Elder.

You could blame Taken 2 that vision of reality ethnocentric American style, whereby insecurity and fear always live abroad and are automatically canceled when you enter the U.S. Embassy. Also this second installment has lost the bitterness that accompanied Neeson’s character at the start of the previous film and provide an environment chooses happier. But, let’s face it: we all know what we want to see in Taken 2. The approach is the same as with Mercenaries 2, Die Hard 2, and so on: we went to see Liam Neeson’s character gets angry and starts to distribute firewood until his tired hand. We want the bad guys are very bad, unquestionably evil. We want to give them a beating Neeson and retrieve their relatives. In short: we simply evade with a simple plot formula. We paid for it and at the end of the film we get what we were promised.

Miguel Juan Payan


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