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Monday, April 22, 2013

Second Chance Reviews - Taken 2


            The Second Chance Reviews are off to a good start. Thank you to those who contacted me and told me how much they liked the first one. For those of you who missed the explanation of this new feature here it is again:
            Sometimes I miss my chance to catch a movie while it is still in the theaters. Those films that I happen to catch as a rental will be offered as a Second Chance Review. If you like what you read about a movie you can rush out, or casually saunter even, to your local video rental outlet and check it out.
            But that’s not all. I am going to ask characters from my novels to write the reviews. I’ll introduce the characters and ask them a few questions and then it’s up to them to tell you about the movie. If you happen to think that any of the characters surpass the others in their reviewing skills you can inform me and I’ll see to it that they get some extra rotations in the batting order – so to speak.       

            This week allow me to introduce you to Wregan. He is the main villain in my novel Hellathon. As filled with bad guys as this movie is I thought he was the best choice to review it.

Randy: Thanks for joining me, Wregan.

Wregan: I’m not a villain.

Randy: I suppose that’s all a matter of perspective. You did attempt to have your best friend’s wife killed.

Wregan: She deserved it.

 Randy: And then you were instrumental in getting your best friend executed.
Wregan: We were no longer friends when that happened. And – he deserved it.

Randy: What about all of their great-great-grandchildren that you had systematically killed. They didn’t have any contact with you; did they deserve it?

Wregan: Had I known that you planned to put me on trial here I would have brought one of Purgatory’s finest lawyers to answer your questions.
Randy: No need for that. Please, the floor is yours. Tell us about the movie.

Taken 2   $$ 1/2 



92 Minutes 

Director: Olivier Megaton 

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, and Rade Serbedzija.


            As is typical of this entertainment form the story is told from the wrong perspective. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is placed in the seat of honor for this tale when it is obvious that Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija) should prevail.
            In response to the killing of his brother, Murad captures Bryan and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). By the ill-fortune of luck, their daughter Kim (Ma ggie Grace) is able to elude her would be captors and then aids her father in his escape. This allows Bryan to continue his reign of terror on Murad’s life, attacking business associates and destroying valuable assets.
            Like my nemesis, Banan, Bryan has the necessary skills to excel in violence. He is able to dispatch his opponents with nothing but his bare hands most of the time and with firearms when he can obtain them. If you like the slaughtering of men as they seek revenge for the wrongs done to them, then you will enjoy this story.
            I for one did not. The men working for Murad are incompetent. How hard can it be to shoot one man? Do they not train with their weapons? Do they live such pampered lives that they cannot absorb a simple punch, or two? Their failure to stand up to Bryan Mills sickened me. I also found it hard to believe that a man like Murad could come to power without being able to fashion any better plan to deal with his foe than he push forth armed thugs and hope they succeed. Where is the Machiavellian strategy that must accompany any plan that hopes to succeed against a highly trained warrior?
            The actors played their roles well enough when they were talking, but battles they enacted were droll. Randy forced me to watch the first story so as to be able to compare the two and I find this second one to be a poor copy of the original. If you support the might makes right crowd then you should probably see Bryan trouncing his foes at one of the discounted events. Or perhaps wait until it can be viewed in the privacy of your own home – lest anyone find out that you resorted to such tedious measures to entertain yourself.
            My rating for the story is two-and-a-half coins of the realm.

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.

$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.

$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.

$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.

0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.





  1. I didn't really like this movie. They didn't seem to put much thought into the plot. There wasn't much in the way of twists or anything. Everything came too easily for Liam Neeson and his family. And the idea of the girl going around randomly chucking grenades to find him was unintentionally hilarious.

    1. I agree with you on all accounts. This was obviously Hollywood thinking it could get by on the success of the first movie without putting any effort into the second one.