Taken 3 (2014)

taken3_2014_poster
Taken 3 (2014)
  • Time: 108 min
  • Genre: Action | Thriller
  • Director: Olivier Megaton
  • Cast: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

Storyline:

Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose long awaited reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his “particular set of skills,” to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now – his daughter.

9 reviews

  • Quickie Review:

    Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is wrongfully framed for the murder of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). Now he must put skills into action to find the true killer, while avoiding the authorities pursuing him. Liam Neeson solidified himself as an action hero in this franchise. Many people, including myself will watch this film just for the love of Neeson. But does that make this a good movie? Nope not at all. It’s unintentionally laughable, and depending on your mood that might actually help it.

    Full Review:

    Liam Neeson, is the only reason I went to see this movie. The first Taken surprised me and I loved it for its contained small scale action. Then for Taken 2 they decided to amp the action in all the wrong ways. That added to my hesitation for Taken 3 (or Tak3n), and it turns out this movie is Taken 2 on steroids.

    I’ll admit, I still love Liam Neeson in this film. His voice and presence demands your full attention. He makes even the most mundane of scenes interesting to watch, at least when he talks. There is Forest Whitaker as a new addition to the cast. He was good in his role, albeit somewhat small. Speaking of small roles Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace are not as involved in this film as the last Taken. That’s a good thing because their characters are the least interesting, and they just take us away from Neeson badassery time.

    All that was wrong with Taken 2 has been amplified here. This film committed one of the worst sins of action movies, shaky cam. It’s as if the whole movie was shot by someone having seizures. Get that camera man a medic! The editing of the action scenes were also painful for the eyes. For example there is a chase scene which is shown as a series of shots that each (without exaggeration) were no longer than 2 seconds long. So the scene would literally cut 90 times for a 3min chase. I loved Taken 1 because overall it felt believable that someone could be so methodical and do the things Liam Neeson’s character does. However, in this movie you never see the resourcefulness (the particular set of skills) of the character and instead depends on absurdly sized explosions to deliver the excitement. I can suspend my disbelief for action, but it got so ridiculous that my friends and I were audibly laughing in the cinema.

    So if you like Taken 2, no problem, you will love Tak3n. Otherwise, you will have similar feelings to mine. I would recommend watching it at home with your friends to have a good laugh. To be clear though, you will be laughing at it and not with it. Definitely, it’s not worth spending money on a ticket. I fear this franchise has become a parody of itself, and if they make another one with the title T4ken or Taken 4ever, I AM OUT!

  • Before properly reviewing Tak3n it’s worth describing the screening conditions as they were out of the ordinary for my cinema experiences. As I walked towards the cinema some woman waiting for a bus yelled at me about not touching my penis in public, and I believe this is sound advice that deserves to be shared. Inside the cinema, things didn’t improve as Event Cinemas on Tak3n’s opening weekend were only screening the movie in Vmax (larger screen, better audio, better seats, higher ticket prices), but the version shown was the standard format resulting in giant black bars surrounding the screen and only two-channel audio. To add injury to insults, one bloke two rows behind me attempted to start a fist-fight with the bloke seated directly behind me twenty minutes into the film. An argument ensued, other punters yelling for the instigator to “Fuck right off!” and the instigator’s girlfriend was presumably pronounced DOA on the way to hospital from the shame and embarrassment of a packed house angrily staring at her and her dickhead boyfriend. While these kinds of conditions could obviously poison my experience I’ve attempted to remain as objective as possible.

    There is a moment in Tak3n where Liam Neeson as the gravelly-voiced, obsessive death-machine Bryan Mills escapes from police by hiding in the sewers of suburban Los Angeles. As he sits there, trapped within a literal river of shit, art imitates life as Neeson reflects on what his career has become. From Oscar Schindler to a 60-year old action-man who has penthouse shoot-outs with bland Russian villains in their underwear. In 2009, Pierre Morel (District B13: Ultimatum, From Paris With Love, The Gunman) directed Taken, a simple story of a retired CIA agent rescuing his teen-aged daughter from Albanian sex traffickers in Paris by murdering EVERYONE. It’s popularity and success can be attributed to the one memorable moment of the film, the infamous phone call involving Liam Neeson’s cold threat. Most everything outside of this moment is mis-remembered, the action is average at best, the conclusion passable but undeniably lackluster, and minimal character development resulting in a one-note slog of “American man kills foreigners in their own country because they’re inherently evil.”. Luc Besson (director of The Fifth Element, Leon the Professional and Lucy) co-wrote the script with Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote all of the Transporter movies, The Fifth Element, a lot of the Karate Kid movies, and the pair wrote Taken’s two sequels. Taken is an okay film, but its sequel, helmed by Colombiana and Transporter 2 director Oliver Megaton is a power-play of lazy writing, seizure-inducing editing (1:02-1:09) and the “Sequel Cash-grab” (see Hangover 2), where the only difference between Taken and Taken 2 was the setting and the amount of people who were taken. Taken 2 is a steaming pile of shit, but the success of this franchise and Neeson’s recent star-power as “angry, fighty, middle-aged man” proved to be a sure-fire path to decent box office earnings.

    Read the full review and more at http://www.thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au

  • Taken 3: Liam Neeson is the king of action movies. He is the ultimate badass. Every action movie I have seen with Liam Neeson, I have enjoyed. Every single film… except Taken 3. Liam Neeson tried but ultimately the movie was terrible. The film suffers from a near non-existentplot that thinks a lot of car chases and explosions is enough to make this movie passable- it was not.

    Not often in an action movie do I find myself getting bored, but it happened here. During one of the unmemorable scenes of the car chase, I found myself wondering what Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills is trying to accomplish here. The answers was nothing. I thought long and hard about it throughout the film and came to the conclusion there was no actual point to the chase. It added nothing to the plot and Bryan Mills could have easily gotten rid of the cops before they even hand-cuffed him because of his “very special set of skills” which he exhibited numerous times throughout the film. Hollywood should know that, although Liam Neeson is awesome in every way, he is not a substitute for a well-thoughout plot.

    Read full review and more at http://reviewsbywest.com/taken-3.html

  • Tony Barton

    Liam Neeson returns as Brian Mills, the retired CIA agent, in this, the third of the Taken movies. After visiting his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), Mills meets his ex wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), who tells him about the problems she and husband Stuart (Dougray Scott) are having. It soon becomes apparent however, that Mills as re-ignited Lenore’s flame and he try’s to let her down lightly.

    However, Stuart visits Mills and tells him that he and Kim would only be able to work things out if Mills backs off and stayed away. The following day, Lenore texts Mills and asks to meet him. Mills agrees and returns home and finds Lenore dead on the bed and a bloody knife on the floor.

    The Police arrive and immediately arrest Mills on suspicion of murder. Mills escapes and goes on the run. After collecting weapons and other equipment from a secret location, Mills allows himself to be captured. However, it’s only so he can commandeer the Police car to enable him to access the Police database.

    However, LAPD Inspector, Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker), is becoming familiar with Mills background and methods and heads the manhunt to re-capture him.

    Mills enlists the help of former CIA colleagues and begins to uncover leads…….leads that lead to the KGB, The Afghan War and $12,000000.

  • Liam Neeson (A Walk Among the Tombstones) is back for the third installment of the Taken franchise, this time round no one is actually ‘taken’, instead Bryan Mills’ ex-wife is murdered and he is suspect number one. While Mills is pursued by the police, he uses his particular set of skills to find the real killer and clear his name.

    Okay here’s the problem, why do we care anymore? Just look at other films that throw practically the same film at us, however, altering it slightly in a hope that we won’t notice (I’m looking at you The Hangover). Everything this man has endured through Taken and Taken 2, personally I found it hard to get excited, especially when Taken 2 was no where near what we expected it to be. Taken 3 starts off with a…
    To read the full review click here.

  • The third and hopefully final installment of the series, Taken 3 certainly leaves one wanting less. Having exhausted all family members eligible for kidnapping, scribes Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen turns the formula on its head by essentially remaking the far more superior The Fugitive.

    Ex-government operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), he of the particular set of skills, appears to be living a life of relative quiet. The women in his life, however, are in various states of emotional distress. Kim (Maggie Grace), still Daddy’s little girl, has just discovered she’s pregnant; ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is trying to give her marriage to Stuart (Dougray Scott) another chance even though she confesses to Bryan that she would rather reunite with him

    Click here for the complete review

  • Sandcooler

    Liam Neeson is just so bored with these movies by now: he goes through the motions from start to finish, he looks so disinterested that you can actually read the check in his pocket. In his defense though, what’s left to keep him interested? In the first one they at least gave his character some actual brutality and clearly established he was no one to mess with: in this one he just seems irritated that this is somehow happening to him for a third time. So he very, very slowly finds out who the main villain is (in a twist so transparant even the Mayas can see it coming) and then catches him, looking bored all the way through. The action scenes are really bland, the story is worthless, the dialogues don’t even achieve the coveted “so bad it’s good”-label: even fans of the original (like myself) will have a hard time finding a positive aspect about this dud. Hopefully this will be the last one.

  • I put off going to see this for a few weeks, partly because of bad reviews. I needn’t have worried. It’s a very worthy addition to the Taken franchise.

    I felt the previous Taken film was a little below par. So, when I read that people who’d enjoyed the first two didn’t rate this one as highly, I took that criticism on board. However, I’m glad I gave it a go. Forest Whitaker was excellent as ever in his role as the honest detective in pursuit of Liam Neeson’s character. And Liam Neeson himself was watchable enough.

    Of course, as with most Hollywood fare, there were enough plot holes and improbable outcomes to render the story implausible. E.g., apparently an explosion that destroys an elevator shaft will not discharge equally in the downward direction, and you can kill and maim as many policemen and civilians as you like whilst escaping from custody, provided the original crime for which you were arrested is later disproved. But none of that should matter in what is essentially a fantasy revenge film. And it doesn’t.

    Overall, if you enjoyed the previous films in this series, you’ll probably enjoy this as well in my opinion.

  • Taken 3’s poster contains what is one of the most reassuring taglines in cinema history – “It all ends here”. After voicing doubts over the series’ continuity in 2012 following Taken 2, Liam Neeson was convinced by producer Luc Besson and writer Robert Mark Kamen to return to the role of former covert operative Bryan Mills, the overbearing father with skills of a particular kind, once more. The film-makers seem to have learned their lesson following the previous instalment – which did little more than repeat the events of the first film only with roles reversed – and have changed the formula. Yet, although nobody is ‘taken’ this time around and Mills faces his foes on home soil, due to sheer bad writing and poor direction, this is quite possibly the worst of the lot.

    After discovering she is pregnant, Kim (Maggie Grace) is visited by her father Bryan, who brings an early birthday present. Knowing her father has a gift for overreacting and extreme dramatics, she decides to keep the news a secret. Later, Bryan receives a visit from his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen), who confesses that her marriage to Stuart (Dougray Scott, replacing Xander Berkeley from the first film) is on the rocks, and that she occasionally fantasises about being with Bryan. They decide not to act upon their feelings until Lenore’s marital situation is resolved. Bryan is later asked by Stuart to back off as he tries to save his marriage, to which Bryan awkwardly agrees. But after receiving a text from Lenore asking to meet up for bagels, Bryan returns home to (spoilers!) find his ex-wife murdered, and the police closing in around him.

    Taking a leaf out of the Fast and the Furious franchise’s book, Taken 3 emphasises the themes of the importance and the fragility of family, and even brings Bryan’s ex-CIA friends, played by series regulars Leland Orser, David Warshofsky and Jon Gries, to the fore to give the film a heist-y feel. But this requires a subtler brand of film-making, something that Olivier Megaton, director of Transporter 3 (2008) and Colombiana (2011), does not possess the talent to pull off. Everything is played out with all the complexity and grace of a soap opera, as Bryan plods along in a plot that doesn’t seem to know where it’s going, while the inept police on his trail are routinely battered and out-manoeuvred and lead investigator Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) watches in awe like a child seeing Father Christmas.

    As the police never prove to be much of a threat at all, there’s no real urgency or suspense to Bryan’s innocent-man-on-the-run shtick, and no hint at any form of meaningful relationship forming between he and Dotzler. In fact, this may be the redundant role of Whitaker’s career. The dodgy racial stereotypes are present again as ex-Spetsnaz agent Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell) is thrown into the mix. We know he’s Russian because he has ugly tattoo’s, wears a gold chain around his neck with an open collar, and sits in hot tubs with each arm around a sexy lady. Megaton hasn’t learned his lesson from Taken 2, so the action scenes are again incoherent and blurred, inducing sea-sickness rather than thrills. There’s very little to recommend about this movie at all, apart from perhaps (again) Neeson’s performance. Hopefully Taken 3 has killed the franchise for good, and Neeson can move onto projects more befitting his own particular set of skills.

    Rating: 1/5

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