Taken 3 Reviewby Niharika Puri January 10 2015, 1:31 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 25 secs
Critics rating: 1.5 Stars
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott, Famke Janssen
Direction: Olivier Megaton
Produced: Luc Besson
Written: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Genre: Action Thriller
Duration: 109 Mins
The dust never seems to settle for Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). And his family could not get any unluckier. After two movies where the protagonists took turns being ‘taken’, this one bumps off a character and has another running through the city. The third wallows in justifiable grief. Fans of the series will know which key characters are being referenced and how dull the setting of the third instalment sounds in comparison to its predecessors.
Bryan is still running for his life and daughter (they are essentially synonymous) while trying to piece together the mystery of his ex-wife Lenore’s (Famke Janssen) murder. Kim (Maggie Grace), who has proven to be a fairly resourceful partner for her father in Taken 2, is relegated to the sidelines here. That remains a greater mystery, but this sequel does not endeavour to be ‘bigger and better’ even if the makers had set out with this intention.
Sergeant Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) is the cop on the case, but despite the smarts and the ability to anticipate Bryan’s moves, the role seems nothing more than a glorified cameo. The dialogue is unremarkable, except for a scene where a police officer tells Bryan, “This is going to end badly for you.” Bryan retorts with: “Don’t be such a pessimist.”
A lot of the charm in the Taken series came from the exotic locale, which gets traded in for some homegrown American action. Said action, the mainstay of the series, comes across as generic. The mandatory explosions, car crashes, chase sequences, they are all here. Throw in some token Russians to raise a stink, since they seem to be the inevitable baddies in the blockbusters.
Some of the moments seem recycled from the earlier films. This time, it is Bryan, instead of the kidnapper from Taken 1 who says “Good luck,” on the phone to his pursuers. An instance where he fires from under a corpse is taken from the same film as is a climactic stand-off between him and the villain.
There is also an unnecessary subplot about Kim that adds nothing to the story, except for some supplementary family drama. That is all there is to the film, drama and some banal action scenes, with no real justice to the title. An urgency, which was a common thread in the prequels, to rescue kidnapped family members is strongly lacking here. The franchise has lost its steam in the third outing, which is purportedly also its last.
Watch Taken 1 or even 2 for the nostalgia. The only thing ‘taken’ for this film will be your time.