Saturday 24 January 2015

Taken 3 (2015)

I share my thoughts on Taken 3, the third movie in the action movie Taken franchise starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace and Forest Whittaker, and directed by Olivier Megaton.

Taken 3 is my first Taken film, and I wasn’t expecting great things. I was kind of interested to see it because of the slightly intriguing trailer promising a Bourne­-esque action thriller but sadly, Taken 3 never really stretches to the heights of that franchise. It’s not even as good as Non-Stop, the last Liam Neeson film that I saw. I managed to get out of watching this the first time at the cinema to see The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies but wasn’t able to escape the second time when I went with my friends, and maybe I shouldn’t have bothered going at all.

Former covert operative Bryan Mills (Neeson) is back in action for the third time as he finds himself framed for the killing of his ex wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), just as they were enjoying reconnecting. Fleeing from the crime scene, Mills becomes public enemy number one, with the FBI, CIA and the police all in pursuit as he attempts to work out who is responsible and why, in an attempt to not only clear his name, but also protect the most important thing he has left in his life, his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace).

The plot is nothing new, with framing the hero being a plot device commonly used in everything from thrillers to science fiction movies. The action is fairly standard as you get to see Liam Neeson as a one man army, taking on a whole terrorist organization by himself as well as evading capture from the FBI, CIA and the police, who are headed up by Forest Whittaker’s character, Franck Dotzler, who like the rest of the characters is forgettable and incredibly bland. The other actors all put in a decent job but there are no notable standout performances here, and even Neeson can barely carry the film. Of course, you’re mainly here for the action, but it would be nice to see some good things put into the characters from time to time. Maybe something to make sure that they’re not the cookie-cutter cast that you’d normally find in an action movie like this.

The action sequences are again, nothing too original and you don’t really care for Mills’ character when he’s virtually presented as indestructible. Nothing can stop this guy so the film sort of loses its tension, because you know he’ll end up finding out who did and he’ll save his daughter. Yes, the action is just enough to keep you engaged for the film, but afterwards you’ll probably end up forgetting what’s happened very quickly.

The plot doesn’t really fit together smoothly and the ending climax is a bit underwhelming. There’s nothing really here that screams ‘watch this movie’, and I was hoping for 2015 to start out on a better note than this in terms of new films.  Go and see something else instead – if you haven’t seen the Jason Bourne movies yet then I can highly recommend you do so, because you’ll enjoy them a hell of a lot better than you will this film.


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