Taken 3 Review


By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Once in a while, a film comes along that has some success at the box office. It isn’t until it is available on DVD and online providers that it really catches fire and becomes well known. Such was the case with the film Taken. Much like the early years of Family Guy, a strong following down the road gave the studios an incentive to produce the show – or in this case, film – once again. And thus Taken 2 was made. It didn’t quite live up to its predecessor, but Liam Neeson was still being his bad ass self. Now, in 2015, we have the third installment to the Taken series. Brought to us by director Olivier Megaton, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Taken 3.

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is trying to get by in life. He still sees his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), as his little girl and he’s also working on his relationship with his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). Lenore’s new husband, Stuart (Dougray Scott), however, isn’t a fan of Lenore meeting up with Bryan and wants that to stop. He gets his wish when Lenore is found murdered in Bryan’s home. It just so happens, five seconds later, the police are at the door. It appears Bryan has murdered his wife and is being put under arrest. Bryan has other plans. Now he has to clear his name and find out who murdered his wife, all while making sure his daughter is safe. But will Bryan be able to get the information he needs with an intelligent Inspector Frank Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) hot on his trail?

DM-00111 – Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace in TAKEN 3.

Taken 3 is a perfect example of what you don’t want to see from a sequel. Sometime before Taken 3 was announced, Liam Neeson was asked in an interview if he’d do a third Taken film. His response was to the effect of, “What kind of father would I be if my family was kidnapped a third time?” He should have taken his own advice. The script is devoid of any real life and Bryan is put into situations that even the likes of Jason Bourne and Rambo would have a hard time getting out of. The dialogue in the film falls flat and we’ve heard many of these same lines repeated twice in the two previous films from Neeson’s character. The action sequences, which we always look forward to, also lack the intensity found in the previous films, and more so in the first. As for the overall story, you can tell early on who is behind everything and how it will end. This was a paycheck film for the actors and potential profit loss for the studios.

With the lack of life and the poor script, it’s really hard to critique the actors because they have to perform with the tools they are given. Liam Neeson is Liam Neeson, playing the same character we’ve come to know from him over the last ten years or so. It almost feels as if he’s fallen into a rut as an actor, being typecast into these older-man-who-can-take-down-anyone roles. He knows this character and it feels like an old shoe, but it’s probably a shoe that needs to be thrown out or donated elsewhere at this point. The only actor who really makes an attempt at bringing some emotion and energy to the film is Maggie Grace, but it’s all for naught with the lousy script. Famke Janssen isn’t in the film long enough to really critique her and Forest Whitaker has more of a one-note character with glimpses of what could be more. You have to feel bad for the actors knowing they’re working with a poor foundation, but don’t feel too bad; they still made more money with this film than most of us do in a year.

Film Review Taken 2

Poor script, dull dialogue, less-than-intense action sequences, and a man who is 63 years old doing things we expect from super heroes doesn’t lead to a great experience for the audience. It’s hard to find any high points in this film and I’m not going to make things up to give it some saving grace. The trailers may make it look fun and exciting, but that is exactly what trailers are supposed to do. For your sake, and that of your bank account, don’t get taken by this film.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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