The third installment in the franchise which made Liam Neeson an action star and ‘particular set of skills’ a much loved phrase worldwide, Taken 3 returns to the life of Brian Mills (Neeson) and family. This time however, it is Brian who must take himself, when his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is murdered and he is the prime suspect. He goes into hiding and attempts to beat the police to find out who is responsible for the murder of the woman he loves and clear his name.
When it gets to the third instalment of this franchise you begin to wonder what else can go wrong in this family’s lives. Apparently, the answer is a third film. With a loose script that is just simply quite boring, and action sequences cut to get a 12A rating and therefore the biggest audience possible, there’s not much going for this film. Neeson’s desperation at his ex-wife’s death and his moments of fatherly compassion are cringe inducing, and although his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) has improved on her performance since the first film, Neeson’s seems to have worsened.
The poor action sequences and the inconsistently written characters all mean that when watching, you simply don’t care. I didn’t care if Brian got locked up, or his ex-wife died, or someone else is behind the murder. The poor script means that it’s not a mystery I’m interested in seeing solved. Forest Whittaker gives a pretty average performance as another underwritten character, a police detective with a penchant for fiddling with various random things whilst he thinks, from elastic bands to chess pieces.
Co writer Luc Besson is known for helming the Cinéma du Look movement, where style presides over substance. But in Taken 3, neither of these things are present. The shaky hand held camera used in any action sequences made me feel nauseous and the performances leave a lot to be desired. Cinema can be many magical things, but Taken 3 only reinforces the sad reality that first and foremost for some it is a money making machine.
Taken 3? Take it away from me please.