Mindless Action Mondays: I could not GIVE a shit about TAKEN 2

It’s a nice pun. Get over it.

By Drew Parton

20th Century Fox

At the behest of my editor and sometimes boss, James Melville, I watched the new movie Taken 2.
There’s not a whole lot I can really say about this movie. It was utterly forgettable. And not the horrified repressed memory forgettable (See: Cobra review). Just the “Meh. It happened” kind.

It wasn’t a bad movie (again, See: Cobra Review). It was just an utterly mediocre one that showed some possible promise but ultimately just floundered. And it’s really a shame, there are some good parts about the movie, the bad guy’s actually a pretty deep character with complex emotions- and I really like Liam Neeson. Fellow Rooster Illusion writer and Hill News Arts and Entertainment editor, Chris Melville nailed it right on the head with his review of it in Second Breakfast (Ed note: published in the Hill News). It was just kind of pointless and momentum-less.

On to another one of my man-crushes. I checked out the movie Bubba Ho-Tep, starring the king of B-movies, Bruce Campbell (of Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, and Burn Notice fame).

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If anyone says they don’t love Bruce Campbell, you stake them in the goddamn heart because they are some kind of alien vampire who has no soul.

I’m going to preface my usual plot summary with a warning: I’m not intoxicated. I’m not insane. I’m not on any sort of substance. This is actually the plot of the film, it’s good, just bear with me:
Bruce Campbell plays an elderly, cantankerous Elvis who secretly switched with an impersonator before he died and now lives peacefully in a retirement home. He joins forces with president John F. Kennedy (who was dyed black and left in a nursing home by Lyndon B. Johnson after he faked his death and replaced part of his brain with a sack of sand) in order to battle a 3000 year-old mummy who sucks people’s souls out through their anuses.

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Despite appearing to be a rather stupid and silly movie (it’s got some of that), the characters are rich and very three-dimensional. Campbell’s Elvis is a flawed and conflicted man who laments the way that his life has spiraled down and spends most of his days reflection and searching aimlessly for a reason to get up in the morning.

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“How did I end up here? What happened to me? What time’s lunch, and considering what they serve, why do I care?”

His quest for redemption is really the premise of the film, an almost Sisyphusian journey to do something that defines who he is. Just one more shred of glory for a fading star.

Okay, so obviously with seniors fighting a mummy there isn’t a lot of intense action, but believe it or not, it MEANS more than all the stupid fight scenes in a dozen Taken 2’s.

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Yes. The mummy is dressed as a Cowboy. No, there is no explanation.

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Elvis fights a scarab, “The size of a peanutbutter and banana sandwhich.”

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President John F. Kennedy. With part of his brain replaced with a sack of sand, they keep it in Washington, hooked up to a battery.

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“Jack might be crazy. Hell, I might be crazy. But there was an adventure going on.”

I love this movie. It is a sublime, beautiful, lighthearted horror comedy that is wonderfully poignant and endearing. It really speaks about so much more than old people fighting a mummy. It’s about redemption, glory, and the gradual fade into obscurity and old age.

“If only I’d treated Priscilla right. If I could’ve told my daughter I loved her. Always the questions. Never the answers. Always the hopes… never the fulfillments.”

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“Here I was complainin’ about loss of pride and how life had treated me, and now I realized… I never had any pride. And much of how life had treated me had been good. The bulk of the bad was my own damn fault.”

Bubba Ho-Tep is also so funny and wacky and zany that it’s such a wonderful ride.

The movie is just simply wonderful for how silly the premise is, and it tackles some very serious issues in identity. It’s probably not for everybody, it’s a little weird at times and eccentric. But that’s what gives it so much charm.

And JFK and Elvis do get their moment in the end, they suit up in perhaps the only badass old men montage- determined to kill the mummy.

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“I think you know what I’m gettin’ at Mr. President. We’re gonna kill us a mummy.”

It’s probably the only time in my life that I’ll find myself rooting for two old insane people to immolate a mummy.

I really can’t recommend this movie enough, it is an all too often underrated and overlooked film that has the perfect blend of charm, narm, action, comedy, and philosophical introspection.

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“TCB baby. Taking Care of Business.”

I don’t know what I’ll be watching next week, but if you have any movies you’d like to suggest, email me or send me hate mail at dmpart10@stlawu.edu

One thought on “Mindless Action Mondays: I could not GIVE a shit about TAKEN 2

  1. Pingback: Mindless Action Mondays: The Professional | Rooster Illusion

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