Taken 3 sees the return of Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) for a third outing and it seems he just can’t keep his family safe. Oliver Megaton is in the directing chair for a second time in this franchise as this time Mills finds himself drawn into the business affairs of the husband of his ex-wife, Stuart St John, played by Dougray Scott.
If you’ve seen the trailer you’ll know why he feels compelled to use his special set of skills but for the cinematic audience was there any need? Well, no. The minute I saw Mr Scott appear on screen I knew something didn’t smell right. Taken 3 is not a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination but it is sub-par.
Mr Neeson is looking a little creaky now with regards to having to do the action and pales into the background when you compare his performance to that of Denzel Washington in The Equalizer (2014). That film was a lot more fun and had a harder edge. The 12A rating here in the UK (PG13 in the US) means that the action has to be toned down for the censors which makes everything feel a little placid.
I feel the need to come back to the criticism I made when I watched A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014) which was that Mr Neeson is phoning in his performances nowadays. There’s no spark or energy and certainly no emotion. We also face the problem of a Russian gangster (and don’t get me started on his dress sense) who we know nothing about and don’t particularly care about. There’s no sense that the Bryan Mills character is ever in trouble beyond a minor scratch towards the end. Oh, and on the subject of not facing the consequences of his actions it’s not entirely clear why it is after killing numerous Russian mob-types he isn’t charged with a crime of some description?
The dialogue isn’t in the realms of Shakespeare … not clear how he escapes from that car … oh look a shock twist … just how many bystanders died when that lorry container flattened about four cars etc etc. The most generous thing I can say is that Taken 3 is a serviceable action film although I understand why professional critics have been much harsher.
Didn’t hate it but was happy to be out of the cinema. Do like the look of that Kingsman trailer. Rating 2/5.