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Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Taken 2"

I was utterly appalled to hear that the revenge thriller Taken is getting a sequel. I'll never get back the 90 minutes of my life that I wasted on the first one, and I wouldn't bother with the sequel, even on video, but hearing about the sequel got me thinking again about how utterly offensive I found the movie - the message is repulsive on several levels.  I never bothered to write a review, but I found this user review on imdb.com and it pretty much covers my feelings:

A crime against human intellect
26 September 2011
Author: Helena Vladi from Russia

I've never written a review before, but this movie angered me so much I felt it's my civic duty to protest.

The movie is so full of clich├ęs and unrealistic it's unbelievable it was made by adults. Apparently, we're supposed to derive some kind of psychological gratification from the Freudian symbols of innocence, fatherly love, superhuman strength and righteousness. It actually reminds me of the fantasies I had when I was 8.

Here's the plot: a rich, spoiled American virgin girl goes to Paris with a friend and gets abducted by Albanians and sold into sex slavery. Luckily, her daddy happens to be a ex-CIA agent and tracks them down effortlessly, kills and tortures them in a blood-curdling fashion and gets to his daughter just before she gets her throat slit by the evil (yet also stupid looking so you can still feel good about yourself), toad-like sheik. On his way, daddy makes a such a spectacle of killing and torturing people that it makes you wonder whether anyone would take so much trouble if no third party was watching. He doesn't even spare people who are innocent and are unlucky enough to get in his way. Like the wife of a French agent involved in the mess, whom Neeson shoots in the arm, because her husband refuses to give him information on St-Claire. (Meanwhile, their kids have been tucked into bed 5 minutes ago yet they don't seem to wake up. Yep, totally.)

All the circumstances are miraculously in Neeson's favor. His daughter is talking to him on the phone when she gets abducted. (otherwise, how would he know? Most victims of sex slavery are poor East European girls who don't have cell-phones, which would be too boring). Also, she's standing in the bathroom from where she can see her friend being abducted first, so daddy has enough time to instruct her how to hide and to shout out the details of their complexion while being dragged away (at which she miraculously succeeds, despite her panic and the struggle she puts up).

Also, multiple men can apparently easily get into a hotel room and abduct two girls, but Neeson has to use Spiderman skills to get inside. Well, thank God the bas relief of the wall was adjusted to his height exactly; otherwise, the movie would have ended there.

Another point that disturbed me very much is Neeson indifference to the scores of other girls who have been drugged and raped by Albanians. Apparently, the PRINCIPLE of sex slavery doesn't concern him, just the fact that it happens to HIS daughter.

In the end, Neeson returns with his daughter to America, with only a broken arm after fighting hundreds of heavily-armed men. Also, he has no trouble leaving France after killing each and every one of them. (France must be a Third World country). Everyone is happy and his ex-wife has to admit he's not such a loser after all. Every Freudian fascination has been satisfied trice over.

This movie does absolutely no justice to Eastern Europeans (all Albanians are shown as stupid scum and we're supposed to gloat seeing them being electrocuted), and above all, the REAL victims of modern sex slavery. I could write a lot more about this piece of garbage but I think I've made my point now. Thank you for your attention.



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