The Taken series seems to exist solely to justify an agoraphobic’s fear of going outside; in the first film a young woman goes to Paris and is immediately targeted by sex traffickers, then in the second movie the young woman’s family is targeted by the relatives of the now dead sex traffickers, while on vacation in Istanbul, but now, in Taken 3 the Russian mob will get you the second you step out of your door. I’m betting to mix it up Taken 4 will involve villains who somehow snatch the young woman’s baby while it’s still in vitro.
The plot of Taken 3 is basically a mixture of the second film and The Fugitive, with Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) back to once again save his family, this time he’s dealing with some nasty Russian mobsters who murder his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and frame him for the crime. Their reasons for the Russian mob doing so are convoluted and stupid, it seems Lenore’s husband Stuart (Dougray Scott) had some business deal with them that went poorly, and now they want their money back. No spoiler warning required there, because if any viewer watching this movie did not immediately suspect that the slimy husband is involved, they either have never seen a movie before or are dead.
Now a rip-off of The Fugitive would not be complete without the inclusion of the intrepid law enforcement officer who is honor bound to get his man, and tonight the part of Tommy Lee Jones will be played by Forest Whitaker as Inspector Franck Dotzler, whom the writers think having him play with a chess piece and some elastic bands is the same as creating a three dimensional character.
The movie spends most of its time dealing with Brain Mills eluding the police while simultaneously trying to figure the who’s and the why’s behind the death of his wife, and this is where the series loses any credibility it had (if it ever had any), as not only does Brian assault multiple police officers, who find him at the scene of the murder, but he later gets into a high-speed car chase that results in multiple major collisions with police and passing motorists – which clearly would have caused multiple fatalities – he impersonates a police officer, destroys a parking garage, sets off a smoke bomb inside a college campus building, hacks into the police database, kills multiple Russian thugs, and destroys a jet as it taxis down a runway, yet once he exposes the true villains behind his wife’s death he walks away Scott Free. And we are left with wondering, “Are their no laws in this bloody city?”
I’ll grant that the action in this movie is fun, if mostly ridiculous, and Liam Neeson can pretty much do this part in his sleep by now, but as a whole, it’s not a very good movie. The screenwriters throw in stuff like his daughter (Maggie Grace) being pregnant, without thinking about making it relevant to the plot and not just there for the obvious padding out of the films running time, and someone, please inform these hacks that insurance companies do not pay off on a death benefits while the murder of said person is still being investigated. I’m not saying your action flick’s script has to be as tightly written as Double Indemnity but it would be nice if it at least made a semblance of sense.
Lazy, dumb, and full of enough plot holes to sink the Titanic it’s just embarrassing to see Luc Besson’s name on a film like this, especially when you consider that he’s brought us quality films such as La Femme Nikita and Léon: The Professional, so I for one hope this is the last installment of this franchise, and that Neeson maybe goes off to make another Darkman movie.
Taken 3 (2014)
Director Olivier Megaton concludes the Taken Trilogy on a rather sour note. Liam Neesom seems to be having fun but no else looks to be in on the joke, including the audience.