Liam Neeson and his particular set of skills are back for a third and final time in Taken 3 (at least it's not Tak3n). However, there's a sense of déjà vu in the underwhelming conclusion to the trilogy.
Let's be honest, no one ever saw 2008's Taken being as awesome as it was. It took us all by surprise, hitting us harder than some of Bryan Mills' blows. Who would've predicted that it would be the first of a new franchise? Well, this year, said franchise comes to an end with Mills' final sequence: Taken 3. Pulling out the action cliché, Neeson's getting too old for this shit.
Back home now, things are settling down for Bryan. He and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Jennsen) are on good terms, his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is in a healthy, happy relationship and there is no sign of kidnappers or anyone being taken for a long shot. The only thing worrying Mills is family traditions.
An unexpected visit from Lenore's current partner Stuart (Dougrey Scott) acts as a warning to Bryan, making him aware that's he maybe just getting a little bit too close with his ex. Taking this a sign to back off, things only get worse as, after receiving a phone call from her, he visits her but, on arrival, finds out that she is dead and, better yet, he has been framed for her murder. With the police now hunting him down, he must once again call upon his 'particular set of skills' to clear his name and make sure that no harm comes to Kim.
Well, for once no one is getting kidnapped. That's all these films have been. Surely, this new(ish) premise should freshen up the franchise; ridding us of the horrible taste left by the last film - after it poorly ripped off the first. Yeah, not really. Honestly, I think this would've been at least somewhat better if someone had been taken.
To be honest, it's still the same as the previous two films. Mills does the only thing he can do: run. He talks on the phone and it's still not as good as the original scene from the original. We have Kim being a little bitch, as always. There's some action, a car chase or two and a cringey, atrocity of an ending. There's a sense of déjà vu here but we've worn out the recipe. This doesn't work.
The acting in this, overall, is pretty appalling, to be honest. The supporting cast look like they can't even be bothered anyway (which is probably the case when you exhaust an already dead franchise this much). I bet Famke Jennsen's happy. Not only is she retired from the film quite early on but, if they decide to ever make a fourth film, she won't need to star in it. Her character's quite underused in this, though, for the time that she's in it. Grace is still annoying and, like the case with both past films, seems out of place as she doesn't even remotely look her age. Don't even get me started on Forest Whitaker.
As for Liam Neeson, I love this guy but as great and badass an actor as he is, this is just a poor effort. No offence goes to Mr. Neeson but he's just not good in this. However, this isn't his fault. It's the fact that the dialogue he is slammed with is poor. It's a shame that this film doesn't do his talents any justice. Also, I don't know if it's the 12A film certificate or age but every punch or kick that Liam throws feels unreal and, well, half-hearted. This is the same guy that portrayed this same character as an initimidating, tough mofo several years ago - every blow of his looking like it could kill a man.
Oh, and about the really toned down age rating of this film... didn't director Olivier Megaton alreay learn his lesson about keeping these films a low certificate after how bad and unbelievable Taken 2 was (also rated 12A); you just cannot make these as action-packed and fun as they could be with any certificate below 15. They might as well have made this PG, that's how useless the action sequences have become. Forget that, this man just doesn't know how to do action. All his attempts in the genre have flopped. Taken had a different director. It was good. Taken 2 and Taken 3 were both directed by Megaton and they both sucked. Enough said on that.
It's not all that awful though. There are a few occasional moments in which this film can be a bit of fun. Some of the action can be decent and it's always nice seeing Neeson kick ass, even if it's very OTT and not convincing. Also, this is (supposedly) the final Taken film and even though only the first Taken movie was actually good, it's a half-arsed, just bareable attempt to bid out farwells to Bryan Mills - or so they say; mark my words, we'll probably be reviewing Taken 4 in about three or four years time. Yeah. It's still bad, though.
It's the finale we've all been waiting for! Ok, who am I kidding? Grinding the franchise to an unbearingly exhausting end, the only thing Taken 3 has taken is the piss... and you're money.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.