Tag Archive | spy

Old Movie Review: Taken 2 (2012)

I enjoyed the original “Taken” movie when it first came out, so, a friend and I thought we’d take a gander at the sequel “Taken 2.” It stars Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and a few other actors and actresses I’m not familiar with. Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a retired CIA operative, and Famke Janssen plays Mills’ ex-wife, Lenore. They have a daughter, Kim, (played by Maggie Grace).


The movie begins slowly. Bryan arrives at Lenore’s house to give Kim a driving lesson. But she’s at her boyfriend’s. This section of the movie serves only to play up Bryan’s aspect as being overprotective (he has a background check done on the boyfriend) and to establish that the main players are leading relatively normal lives in the good old USA. Then, Bryan goes to Istanbul where he has a security job for three days. Lenore and Kim join him after he is done; it is meant as a kind of gift to Lenore who is in the midst of a very nasty divorce. Of course, that’s when things go wrong.


In the preceding movie, “Taken,” Bryan wiped out a whole slew of bad guys; it was a ring of criminals who had abducted his daughter with the intent to sell her as a sex slave. Of course, it is an unwritten rule of nature: If you kill somebody, regardless of the reason, someone somewhere else will be upset. In this case, the dead criminals come from a family of criminals, who are now quite irked at Bryan and are intent on evening the score. They set out to Istanbul to do so. They kidnap Bryan and Lenore, and almost do the same to Kim. And then, the real fun begins. There is a lot of killing and violence. Bryan proves himself to be one of the deadliest people alive as he wades through bad guys like a scythe through wheat.


Strengths: well, this was a hardcore action movie, with lots of death and hand to hand combat. If you like that stuff, you’ll probably like this movie. For what it was, it was decent. The storyline held together well. The acting was pretty good. And there were no looming plot holes. Weaknesses: in my opinion, this movie was made simply to make more money from the “Taken” concept. It was very short, 92 minutes, and even the storyline seemed to be a kind of straight line from point A (kidnapping) to point B (relentless slaughter of everybody), with very few perturbations from the path. There were no twists or turns; the whole point of the movie seemed to be just an emphasis on Bryan’s skills. He handled the bad guys with relative ease.


In the end, I’ll give this movie three and a half out of five stars.


Old Movie Review: The Cold Light of Day (2012)

I saw this movie, “The Cold Light of Day,” the other night with some friends of mine. I didn’t know what to expect going in, although it had a couple big names, specifically, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. Basically, it was supposed to be an action, thriller, spy story type of deal. Sounded good; so we sat down to watch.


Henry Cavill plays the main character in the movie, a young businessman named Will who starts the movie learning his company is bankrupt while he’s on vacation with his family in Spain. Shortly thereafter, he has a spat with his father (Bruce Willis) and he heads into town by himself. When he comes back, his family has disappeared and he must begin a tenacious search for his family in the hopes that he can rescue them. He soon meets his father and discovers that he (his father) is actually a CIA agent and that his family’s kidnapping is linked to his dad’s activities. Then, his father is shot and taken out of the picture, leaving him alone to deal with the mess.


What follows is a harrowing adventure through the city of Madrid. Will experiences just about every form of physical abuse known to man. He’s shot, he’s burned, he’s in a bike accident, he’s choked out, he’s beat up, he’s choked out again, he’s in a car accident … basically, he’s having a really, really bad day.  But it’s all in good fun. He survives, wins the day, discovers he has a sister, and he and the surviving members of his family live happily ever after. Or something like that.


Overall, I thought the movie was good. The plot was easy to follow with a number of clever twists that made it interesting. Some of the dialogue, at least in the beginning, I thought was forced, but I soon moved beyond that and got absorbed in the story. The amount of physical abuse the character of Will underwent was actually amusing. My friend and I were making jokes about it. “Yes, all he needs to be is maced and tasered now, and he’ll have run the whole gamut.” The Israeli Mossad made a showing in the film, but they were suspiciously absent at at least one critical moment just so the hero could be, well, a hero. Also, Bruce Willis’ role in the movie is surprisingly short, which is annoying when they use his name as one of the draws to the film. Other than that, I found the movie quite entertaining.


Overall, I’ll give the film three and a half, or maybe even four stars out of five.

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