The third instalment of the Liam Neeson-led franchise, Taken, is a far cry from the original. Yet again the movie’s focus is on a middle-aged man who’ll punch or shoot anyone with a Slavic accent.
In Taken 3 we meet the rather dishevelled-looking Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) as he visits his beloved daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) a few days before her birthday. He has his fair share of secrets and she’s got a few of her own that she isn’t willing to dish out to the ex-covert operative.
Bryan’s ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) makes an appearance, the purpose of which seems to be to dangle herself in front of Bryan like a carrot only to say that she’s still with her distant, rather man-tanned husband Stuart (Dougray Scott).
The next thing you know jilted Stuart turns up and demands that Bryan back off from Lenore that he doesn’t want him to see her any more. Bryan reluctantly agrees but then the next time Lenore contacts him he’s straight back to her. But that’s exactly what someone planned on.
When Bryan returns to his apartment where the two are set to meet he finds the door wide open and his true love sprawled across his bed with her throat slit. Within minutes the police rock up and attempt to arrest Bryan and charge him with Lenore’s murder, one that he didn’t committed never mind witness.
Bryan uses his set of unusual skills to evade the cops, much to the disdain of Franck Dotzler (Forest Whittaker). It’s only a matter of time before they catch up with him, but with Lenore’s killers still on the loose and Kim’s life at risk Bryan isn’t going to make it easy for them.
As he’s tracked and pursued Bryan won’t stop until he finds Lenore’s real killer and clears his name. He wants revenge and he’s not going to rest until he gets it.
In Taken 3 the age old Taken formula is used again but something feels different. There are twists and turns and you’re left trying to fit the pieces together. Okay so it has the usual cheesy one-liners, ridiculous explosions and over the top fight scenes but it wouldn’t be a Taken movie without them.
Let me give you a flavour of what to expect:
Franck Dotzler: If you go down this road, the LAPD, the FBI, the CIA… they’re all gonna come for you. They’ll find you. And they’ll stop you.
Bryan Mills: Good luck.
True to form Liam Neeson is superb and Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace are mediocre. I mean come on, do you remember Taken 2? Because I do, and it was dire. The real shining star of this movie is Forest Whitaker, what a performance. From the start he knows that Bryan isn’t guilty and it’s intriguing watching him try to prove it.
Bryan’s skills have become somewhat exhausted and less interesting than before. I’m sure there will be a Taken 4, but there really shouldn’t be.
By Ruth Walker