“Taken 3,” is the third installment of the “Taken” franchise. The lead actor is Liam Neeson, who plays Bryan Mills. The movie starts off with Brian and his ex-wife Lenore, played by Famke Janssen, attempting to begin a reconciliation. Lenore is currently in an unhappy marriage with Stuart St. John, played by Dougray Scott. Just moments into the film, Lenoir is murdered, and Brian is framed for her death. Brian immediately goes on the run, and the movie continues on, with Brian being hunted by detective Frank Dotzler, played by Forest Whitaker.
Brian is on a mission to keep his daughter Kim mills, played by Maggie Grace, from also being harmed, and to find the real killers. Taken 3 is directed by Oliver Megaton, and produced by Luc Besson. In order to fully form an opinion on Taken 3, we need to evaluate some of the key factors of the film. It is important to understand the background of the franchise. We need to consider the casting, and director of the film. It is also important to review the action scenes, and finally the plot. The original taken, which first aired in 2008, was based on Brian Mills just retiring from the CIA to form a relationship with his estranged daughter Kim.Order now
Kim goes on a trip to Paris with a friend, and ends up being kidnapped to later be sold for human trafficking. Brian then travels to Paris to search for his daughter. Throughout the movie, Brian ends up killing almost an entire Albanian gang, in order to save his daughter. In 2012, taken 2 was released. Taken 2 takes place in Istanbul, where Lenore and Brian are taken hostage, by a father of one of the kidnappers, Brian killed while rescuing his daughter in the first installment. This time, it is Kim that rescues Bryan, and Lenore. The actors seem to have lost their interest in the franchise.
While I believe that all of the main characters are excellent actors, none of them seem to be trying very hard to make the movie realistic. Liam Nessons age is beginning to show, and is less believable in the action scenes. Maggie Grace come across as being pushed to do the film. Although she hits her mark as Brian’s helpless daughter, she fails to display the emotion that one would expect in the event of your mother being murdered. Oscar winner, Forest Whitaker, is new to the Taken movies, and while I do consider him to be a great actor, he does not deliver to the extent that he is capable of.
One of the worst parts of the whole film, is that fact that the actor that play’s Lenore’s husband has changed. In the original Taken, he was played by Zander Berkeley, while in the third installment, Stuart was played by Dougray Scott. The fact that the character of Stuart changed, from an older wealthy businessman, to a much younger criminal, makes the movie confusing and really unrealistic. The director, Oliver Megaton, missed the mark in a big way with this film. He doesn’t have a single director or movie making excellence to his name.
Oliver Megaton, had received horrible reviews for previous movies he has directed, such as Transporter 3, Columbiana, and even Taken 2. Why they brought him back is beyond me. The first installment was directed by Pierre Morel, and considering how much of a success that installment was, one would think that he would have been asked to return. Considering this is supposed to be an action movie, the actual action scenes in this film are seriously lacking. You have the scene shot on the highway, where the only good visual you have is a refrigeration cart rolling down the highway.
The only other real action scene, is at the end, in the apartment of the killers. This scene is also very short lived, and the camera switches angles so often that it is all pretty much a blur. The cinematography of the action scenes is not good. The camera never gets a good close up shot during the action scenes. The frames tend to change every second, so all you really see is a blur. This makes it hard to tell what is going on. The first installment of this franchise, was full of non-stop exciting action scenes, which this installment is seriously lacking.
Quite frankly, Liam Nesson and Forest Whitaker are by far too good of actors for this. Finally, we get to the plot. If this was not part of the Taken franchise, and it was a movie all on its own, it would be good. The plot of the movie, just don’t seem to line up at all with the other Taken movies. In the previous movies, someone was actualy kidnapped, or being held hostage, and the whole movie was based on Brian tearing the town apart trying to rescue his family member. Previously that made for a great action movie. This installment, was not actually revolved around anyone being taken.
It is more of Brian on a mission to clear his name. Towards the end you find out that Stuart was the one that had Lenore killed, and Brian framed, but it does not actually make sense if you are basing this movie off of the first two. The first two installments had no mention of Stuart being involved in anything illegal, nor being involved with the type of people this this movie has labeled as the bad guys. In reality, Taken 3 is a good movie. It’s just not what you would expect, being part of the Taken franchise. If you are hoping to love this movie just as much as you did the first, this might not happen.
If your objective is to just see a good movie, and not invest too much time into the franchise, then this will be a good choice of movie for you. The third installment of the Taken franchise has very good actors and a good plot, just not what was expected. I do hope that this is the last Taken movie though, due to the fact that every installment is just getting worse. If they are to make another Taken movie, I would hope that they would go back to their original director, Pierre Morel. If he had directed this film, I do believe that it would have been much better.
Anderson, Kyle. “Taken 3.” 7 January 2015. Entertainmentweekly.com. 14 March 2015.
Goldberg, Matt. “collider.com.” January 9 2015. Taken 3 review. 2015 12 2015.
Sachs, Ben. “Chicagoreader.com.” 7 January 2015. Taken 3. 14 March 2015.