Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review: Taken 3

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Ahh, Liam Neeson - such a likable guy and a very good actor as well when given the right material, which "Taken 3," alas, is not. It's not exactly a bad movie - it's enjoyable enough in spurts in a generic way - but I can't exactly recommend it, that is, unless you feel the need to watch the exact same film over again that you've likely already seen - namely, "Taken" or "Taken 2."

In this film, which promises to be the last of the series, Neeson reprises his role as Bryan Mills, the ex-government operative and all-around tough guy who can get out of any pinch. He and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) have remained friends and there is a hint that they might rekindle their relationship, despite her being married to another man (Dougray Scott), who immediately strikes you as sort of creepy.

But Janssen's character is discovered murdered in Mills' apartment and, this being a movie, he becomes the prime suspect, fleeing the scene and trying to figure out who is responsible for the crime. And since this is a Hollywood action movie, there's also the detective (Forest Whitaker) who Mills is always one step ahead of. Naturally, the detective also sorta-kind-of believes in Mills' innocence.

There's a slew of baddies, most notably a group of Russian gangsters, led by a guy whose virtually inaudible dialogue detracts slightly from his scariness. And there's another villain who I can't exactly discuss without giving away plot details.

Regardless, there's a twist late in the film that you'll very likely see coming as well as action sequence after action sequence, none of which are particularly inspiring, but most of which are handled well enough for this sort of thing.

There's only so much you can say about Hollywood franchise films such as these after they've reached their third entry. "Taken 3" might not be as bad as its Rotten Tomatoes score might lead you to believe, but it's paint-by-numbers action filmmaking all the way.

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