Faster Taken

Over the past weekend, I hosted my mother. Unlike most women, she actually likes action movies, even the schlocky kind. So we ended up watching two of them: Taken 2 and Faster. Strangely enough, there was an actress who connected the pair of films — Maggie Grace. I remember her mostly for playing the part of Shannon, the quasi-incestuous sister to Ian Somerhalder’s Boone in the initially mysterious and ultimately lame Lost. In Taken 2, she plays a teenager in need of her driver’s license; in Faster, she is a sharp-shooting girlfriend/bride of a hit man who claims he has beaten yoga (I’m not making this up). I didn’t even know yoga needed a beating. In any case, a haiku for each, plus a smidgen of a review.


Taken 2 (2012)

Liam the hero

of a road Taken once more.

Rob Roy this is not.

They really push the Muslims = Bad plot point pretty hard in this film. Every time you see the overhead shot of Istanbul (mosques and whatnot) and hear the Muslim chants, you know we’re supposed to juice up the hate. So sadly simplistic, but then again, this is a movie directed by a French guy with the fake last name of Megaton (again, I’m not making this up).

Unintentional moment of hilarity: There’s an extended scene of Neeson instructing his daughter to drive away from the bad guys while he shoots at them. For the next ten minutes, we see the daughter (who, mind you, failed to pass her road test) suddenly driving like a professional stunt car driver (clutch-popping, 180-fishtailing, the works). The dialogue is a blast. This is the actual excerpt:

Come on, go!
Back, back, back!
Come on, move!
Come on, Kim.
Go, go!
Keep going.
They’re in the taxi!
Keep going.
Oh, no.
Stay low. Keep going.
Come on, faster.
I can’t.
You can do it!
I can’t!
Come on, move! Move.
Keep going.
Oh, shit.

“Oh, shit” is definitely an apt phrase for this film.


Faster (2010)

The Rock wants revenge

so he murders the guilty

then learns to forgive.

Dwayne Johnson does a pretty decent job of acting in this film, looking hard most of the time but also believably vulnerable in the flashbacks when he was younger and more innocent (but still as wide as a semi). It also stars Billy Bob Thornton (where has he been lately?), and the previously mentioned hit man rounds out the trio of characters who prop up this movie. The film takes a curious turn in the final third act, suddenly becoming all about forgiveness. It’s almost as if the movie is ashamed of the violence that has come before the ending. It’s not your typical Charles-Bronson-like affair, so folks in the mood for some mindless brain-bashing may not enjoy this all the way through. I sort of liked it.