Taken 2: Unintentional Parody of Original

But Liam Neeson still shines, say critics

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 5, 2012 10:03 AM CDT

(Newser) Taken 2 doesn't hold up to its predecessor: While Liam Neeson is as impressive as usual in this kidnapping thriller, the plot is totally absurd. What critics are saying:

  • "There’s no need to wait for the MAD magazine parody of Taken 2. It’s already hilariously up there on the screen," writes Peter Howell in the Toronto Star. "The first thing to be kidnapped is logic" in "a ludicrous script that spent more time on a photocopier than in a word processor."

  • It's "a sequel every bit as clumsy, ham-handed, outlandish and laughable as the original was sleek, tough and efficient," writes Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post. Neeson's character has "become little more than a know-it-all who dispatches every obstacle as if he’d anticipated it all along. There’s no crafty fun to be had watching him figuring it all out."
  • It just feels "so wrong," writes Stephanie Zacharek at NPR. When it comes to bad guys, for instance, "you can tell they're bad because they have scrubby beards and scowling expressions; you can tell they're Albanian because they're wearing pleated pants and oversized leather jackets from the Who's the Boss? era."
  • But Charles Gant feels differently, calling the film "enjoyably ludicrous" in Variety. "Plenty of the dialogue... falls into the so-bad-it's-good category, and audience derision is presumably all part of the envisaged fun."

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Liam Neeson in a scene from Taken 2.
This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Liam Neeson in a scene from "Taken 2."   (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Magali Bragard)
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The movie's trailer.   (YouTube)

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