1 1/2 Stars
Oh, how quickly the Taken series has fallen apart. The first Taken was an excellent low-key thriller. It established Liam Neeson as an action-star and spawned a sub-genre of aging stars (not known for action vehicles) trying their hand at cinematic shoot-outs. Taken 2 was a lesser experience but, it still was superior to a lot of the imitators that sprung up in the wake of the original’s vast success. Now, with Taken 3 the series has finally hit its low point, this is a desperate last gasp.
That pesky, trouble-prone ex-covert operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is finally taking the time to play golf with the boys and filrt with a reconciliation with his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). This brief bliss is interrupted when Lenore is brutally murdered. The killer has framed Mills for the crime. Sensing a plot to destroy him and his family, Bryan flees, while the CIA, FBI and local police all converge on his location.
Instead of battling international terrorists, Mills puts his ‘particular set of skills’ to use on a murder. He pursues Lenore’s real killers, plotting his violent revenge while protecting his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). Meanwhile, the duplicitous Stuart (Dougray Scott) is caught in the middle of a financial deal gone awry between Russian mobsters.
This movie is so predictable that watching it becomes a checklist of recycled situations and events that don’t add up to anything original. Perhaps, series matriarch Luc Besson saved all of his good ideas for his own film, Lucy. The marketing materials boldly proclaim, ‘It Ends Here’. In reality, the creative spark that was in the inception of the series ended some time ago.
Director: Olivier Megaton
Stars: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen