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Taken 2

 

Liam Neeson: Taken 2

I glanced at my watch. Only 20 minutes before the movie begins. Am I going to get there on time with weekend traffic already beginning to form? What if I do not get there in time, do I have a backup plan? Is it better to postpone this till tomorrow? These and more queries raced across my mind as I got into I-495 on my way to the movie theatre. I had been waiting for the movie Taken 2 for about a month now, and goodness knows I did not want to be late.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a particular odd thing about me when it comes to watching movies. It is that I want to be seated down comfortably BEFORE the movie begins. Any regular movie enthusiast knows that there is usually that 15 minutes of previews for movies that are coming out later in the year AFTER which the movie one comes to watch starts to show. I am such that if I missed these previews and then let’s say the real movie has proceeded by as little as only 2 minutes, I cannot watch that movie for that allotted time—I’ll simply go and get a refund or get tickets for the next scheduled show! I don’t know why that is, but that’s how I am wired. So, you can tell that I was flying like hounds out of hell as I raced towards the theatre. Weird?  If yes, then I am guilty.

At any rate, I got there just in the nick of time. I hastily pulled into the parking lot, made a wide sweeping arc and came to rest in my parking spot; then I jumped out of the car and was bounding straight into the theatre because I needed to be seated BEFORE the previews begin. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see two women parked in their SUV staring at me in utter disbelief as they leisurely rolled up their windows. They must be wondering whether I had forgotten something in the theatre judging by the way I was hurrying along.

Luckily for me, I did not have to wait long to buy my ticket. Oh yeah, that reminds me—I think I have to sign up with Fandango in order to get my tickets in advance. It does not make any sense that up till now I’ve not done so. In no time at all I found myself slithering to the back of a packed movie theatre.  I found a good seat at the back of the theatre but I have to say that it didn’t make sense that so many people had already come out to see this movie at this time. What in the world were they trying to prove? What was their business out here this early on the weekend? Seriously, isn’t this why there are Saturdays—so that all these over-expectant people can come out in the evening of a Saturday and thus not wreck my Friday movie watching experience? Somehow they must not have gotten that memo.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the pleasure to announce to you that this movie, Taken 2 was good. Before you decide to see this movie however, do yourself a favor and see the first installment if you’ve not already done so. At this point, I am tempted to break down the movie but I know you would not like me to ruin the experience for you before you got the chance to see it, right?

Liam Neeson may be 60 years old but in this action-packed flick, he was dealing out justice and exacting vengeance with all the grit of a young, daring swashbuckler. This was better than the first installment—a feat that is rarely seen these days. I think I’ll hunt down more movies from him in the past now. Go and see the movie—you might just like it!

 

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The Warrior’s Way

Before I checked the movie listings yesterday, I had previously made up my mind to see the movie The Next Three Days. As I was checking out the movies showing this weekend, I came across a movie with an interesting name The Warrior’s Way. I checked the trailer and it didn’t take long before I began to waver in my determination to see the movie with such actors and actresses as Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks and Olivia Wilde.

I also saw the trailer to Ong Bak 3 with Tony Jaa while I was checking out Yahoo movies. To tell you the truth, this was the movie that I really wanted to see. If you don’t know who Tony Jaa is, or how awesome he is in his high-octane martial arts flicks, please check out Ong Bak 1& 2, and of course The Protector ( Tom Yum Goong). As luck would have it, no theatre around me was showing this movie which was supposed to come out yesterday. So, I found myself slowly inching closer to picking The Warrior’s Way—I needed some adrenaline-rich, pulsating, ninja action for a slow and boring Friday night, I reasoned.

Cut to the chase—so I am seated in the theatre watching the previews waiting for the movie to start when I got this incredible urge to go and pee. Must have been that big cup of Lemonade I was gulping down earlier. If I left to go to the bathroom there was a good chance I would miss the first few minutes of the movie. If I decided to ignore the urge, I could become highly uncomfortable before this movie ended (100 minutes long). So what do you figure I did?

Well that’s a no-brainer. I was darting for the bathroom before you could say knife! Yeah, that’s the sanest thing to do—or don’t you agree? I walked back to the theatre very relieved mere seconds before the movie started; how lucky I was! Now, you may not know why, but in some ways I am quite different—I cannot bear to watch a new movie without starting from the very beginning. It is a psychological problem as far as I am concerned because I’ll never be able to settle into the movie or do the commonsensical thing which is to mentally make up a beginning to the narrative. If I find that I am as late as a meager 2 minutes to a movie that I wanted to watch, I’ll have to postpone watching that movie, or else buy a ticket for a later show. I just can’t help that quirkiness.

The Warrior’s Way was a strange mixture of Samurai-Ninja-sword fighting and gun-toting, pistol-whipping Westerns. The main character, Yang (Dong-gun Jang), spoke very rarely; this was not unexpected. According to the movie, he was the greatest swordsman that ever lived. Apparently he invited the ire of his own clan when he refused to kill the last surviving member of a rival clan—an innocent little baby girl. Rather than kill her, he took her, left his clan and his country and sailed across the world to escape the assassins of his own clan who turned him into enemy number 1. For many months, he stayed in Lode, a town in the American Midwest, trying to live his life as a normal member of a small town of circus people. The movie was made considerably interesting by the presence of Lynne (Kate Bosworth), an orphaned young woman, who found a way to work her way into the warrior’s life. You can sense the sexual chemistry between them. It was just a matter of time for you knew that a kiss or more was going to happen somewhere.

At any rate, as long as Yang the warrior kept his sword sealed, he was able to enjoy months of peace away from his clan’s assassins the Sad Flutes. The months of peace and laughter ends when a bandit and his band of gun-slinging thugs enter the picture and begin to visit cruelty on this little village of 500. The warrior reluctantly returns back to his bloody ways rather than let a band of thugs continue to terrorize the village. It was one interesting scene of slaughter as this deft swordsman hacks away limbs. This movie is pretty bloody, so this may be inappropriate for some audience. The warrior’s action, in saving Lynne from certain death at the hands of a pedophilic bandit, unwittingly sets the ninjas on his scent. Let me repeat that—all the time that Yang never got to take a life with his samurai sword because it was sealed, his ninja clan searched for him without success. But they never gave up. Immediately the warrior used his sword and killed the ruffians that wanted to kill Lynne, it was if that magically alerted the ninjas as to where he was.

So you know without being told that there was going to be intense sword action when his clan eventually traces him to Lode. A vicious battle takes place but at the end, Yang, with the support of the inhabitants of this small western town defeats the ninjas. But the sad truth was that this was just the beginning. That warrior would never know any peace. He was an assassin—and sooner or later, an assassin would destroy that which he loved. He had to leave the baby at that town and travel to Siberia. As long as he was still alive, and as long as he kept using his sword, he knew that the Ninjas would keep coming for him.

I enjoyed the movie. The skies in the movie—at night, at twilight and at dawn always looked too amazing. It had to have been CGI or something. I’ll recommend this movie to you only if you are not squeamish at the sight of blood or severed human body parts.

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