Saturday, 23 August 2014

Taken and Taken 2

[Post #24 of the Blaugust Challenge!]

I had the pleasure of watching these movies back to back so I thought I'd review them both in one hit. Taken tells the story of a stupid girl who manages to get herself kidnapped by some very bad Albanians. Unfortunately for them, a borderline obsessive and sadistically psychopatic Liam Neeson is quite attached to her and happens to be excellent at tracking down scum and making them suffer.

While my summary might be brief, it is an awesome to watch Liam's character on the hunt. There are a few intentionally annoying characters, but they all get their comeuppance during the course of the film. There are also very good action sequences and plausible enough gun play (though there's a bad guy at the end who must have been drunk to have missed someone of the protagonist's size with an automatic weapon).

He does benefit from some good luck too.

Taken 2 continues the story where the relatives of the Albanians killed in the first movie are out for revenge, so they do the logical thing and try to kidnap the protagonist and his entire family. Of course this doesn't quite go as planned as Liam's kill count just keeps going up. Fewer annoying characters this time around, replaced by a truck load of stunt men and women on narrow roads during chase scenes. The combat here is also pretty good, though the bad guys are hampered somewhat by occasionally not using lethal force (the perils of capture missions).

Both movies do have plot holes, mainly dealing with "how the hell do you kill so many people or throw grenades into public areas and not get arrested," sort of thing but they are easily overlooked with the enjoyment factor while watching. I give Taken four bullets out of five and Taken 2 three and a half bullets out of five - slightly less than the first movie because I felt the plot wasn't as tight, but still very enjoyable. 

Blaugust Bonus: I don't really have a strong urge to travel to see the world, so instead I might just talk about another of Belghast's writing prompts today -  "What is your favorite game biome? Games often have the same kinds of generic climates spread through the zones and levels. What is your favorite type of climate and why?"

An environment that's pretty is common place these days, which is why I'm picking a strange one - an environment that puts the player on edge is my current favorite. I am talking about the infested ships circling Eris in Warframe, especially the hive missions there where you (and your team if you have one) are sent to eradicate the infestation spawning pools on warped and partially broken space vessels. Ok, more than partially as you have sections where there is no atmosphere and you take constant damage while on your space walk. Of course, the endless swarm of aberrant creatures have no problem with it.

If you aren't outside running out of breath then you are in the claustrophobic, twisted maze of broken metal melding into the disgusting infestated biomass of growths and tumors. Bodies of the previous inhabitants can be found here too, and the blood curdling violin music helps set the scene nicely. No, it's not a pretty place. It's not even a nice place to visit, but it is one of the best "horror" setups I've run into which perfectly fit thematically to the game.

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