I had high hopes for Taken 3 and the return of Liam Neeson’s Brian Mills. This instalment goes down the fugitive route with Mills wrongly accused of murder resulting in the need to utilise his particular set of skills to evade LAPD and solve the mystery of who killed his wife.
The film tries its best to emotionally involve you with sub-plots including Mill’s daughter growing up and the rekindling relationship with his ex-wife. This makes this movie feel more like a soap opera than a action packed blockbuster. It is an uncharacteristically slow start, that feels unwanted and out of place in the franchise. ‘Just bring on the action!’ you’ll be thinking. But sadly the action sequences suffer once again at the hands of director Megaton, fast cutting and messy editing makes for confusing viewing.
However, you can see some quality stunt work, and Neeson is more than capable of pulling off the fights scenes. So just show us this, why the director feels the need to move the camera so much and cut away so fast is a mystery. If only they had brought back Pierre Morel the original director, maybe the action could of saved us from the weak storyline.
The script lacks the punch and brilliance of the first outing although it tries it’s best to reference it. Forrest Whitaker as Inspector Franck Dotzler has a short speech to which Mills answers “Good Luck”, mirroring his overly quoted monologue from the first film.
It seems the writer Luc Besson and co had a rough idea, but failed to create a structured arch that lacks any tension or suspense, and instead created a scrappy storyline with two dimensional Russian mobsters complete with cliché tattoos. No doubt this film will have success, as fans revisit the franchise for its final foray.
It hurts me to say that after the brilliant and very enjoyable marketing campaign which included a very good trailer, linkedIn competition and hilarious music video “Stop Taking My Sh*t”, Taken 3 lacks the certain sets of skills to resurrect this franchise from it’s disappointing second outing.
Taken 3 is out in cinemas now.
Reviewed by Ian Wright