Taken 3

Posted by Joel Copling on January 21, 2015


"I give up" was the thought that permeated my head somewhere around the point when Bryan Mills inexplicably and miraculously used his powers (more like superpowers here) of deduction from facts that he wasn't given (This is an important thing to note) to find out that a character (the most obvious one, really) isn't as trustworthy as he seems. That doesn't even touch on the equally inexplicable moments of Superman-esque escape from exploding cars and/or elevators or the general feeling that absolutely nothing can harm this character. On the evidence of the exasperatingly lazy "Taken 3," he's also no longer very interesting.

Maybe he never was. This isn't a huge slight against 2009's "Taken," a nasty entertainment that pushed its PG-13-rating to the brink and offered a meaty role for Liam Neeson to play. But the combined efforts of 2012's first sequel and now this (both directed by Olivier Megaton, whose lack of finesse as a conveyor of action sequences is, by now, obvious) are proof that Mills was simply the usual action hero: only as interesting as the dangerous situations in which he found himself and from which he invariably escaped or of which he took forceful, brutish control. "Taken 3" removes all of that from the equation and simply devises situations from which Mills will escape, no matter how completely asinine his solutions to those situations will be.

Oh, yeah, the plot. Apologies for almost forgetting to mention, but, well, it's basically a 109-minute non-starter. A tragedy hits home for Bryan, his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen), and when Bryan is framed for the crime, he must clear his name, all the while tracking down the men (led by Sam Spruell's Oleg, about whom the film forgets for an entire hour, and I wish that was exaggeration) threatening Lenore's new husband Stuart (Dougray scott) and clearing his name with a smirking, suspicious detective named Dotzler (Forest Whitaker, who never seems comfortable playing a character so inconsequential that I kept forgetting he was part of the movie). The editing is atrocious, not a single shot lasting longer than five seconds. The script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen is so incredibly lame-brained that the climax plays like a bad joke. "Taken 3" is simply destined to remain one of the lazier sequels of the year.

Film Information


Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills), Forest Whitaker (Franck Dotzler), Maggie Grace (Kim Mills), Dougray Scott (Stuart St. John), Sam Spruell (Oleg Malankov), Leland Orser (Sam), Don Harvey (Garcia), Famke Janssen (Lenore St. John).

Directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.

Rated PG-13 (intense violence/action, brief language).

109 minutes.

Released on January 9, 2015.