Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
Taken to the cleaners is what you’ll be if you waste time on this Olivier Megaton bomb co-scripted by Luc Besson, deep in his Xerography mode. Fans with short attention spans will applaud Megaton’s inability to hold an image on screen for more than 10 seconds, but devotees of the original will wonder where the thrills went in this sub-standard remake in sequel’s clothing. Instead of victimizing Maggie Grace, the father of the man Liam Neeson killed in part one seeks revenge by kidnapping her parents. Talk about a gang that can’t shoot straight: the inept baddies don’t bother to frisk the chained Neeson to find a phone concealed in his sock. He then proceeds to make a call (on speakerphone, no less) while a presumably deaf guard is seated within earshot. The laughably bad parental dialog exchanges - the retired CIA operative has been turned into a comical Papa Focker-type bent on warding off his daughter’s potential suitors - appear to have been lifted from Father Knows Best reruns. One inventive torture scene where they slice a character’s neck and hang her upside down for the blood to slowly drain, does not a successful thriller make. With Famke Janssen. 2012.
— Scott Marks