For a guy with a ‘special set of skills’ Bryan Mills keeps a long leash on his loved ones.
Taken 3 opens with a bland fifteen minutes of clumsy film-making, with bland exposition along the lines of ‘Bryan (Liam Neeson) loves Lenore (Famke Janssen)’ and ‘Bryan loves Kim (Maggie Grace), before of course the film spends ninety minutes placing them all in peril.
That’s understandable I guess. What isn’t, are the short-cuts and long-cuts that the film has that make no sense. Consider these as two examples; Liam walks into a shop, says he wants bagels, smiles and walks out without paying. Conversely the long cut, Bryan gets a message to his daughter to locate him, only he doesn’t. Instead he puts an ‘eat me’ sticky note on the yoghurt she eats every day so that she feels ill at a pre-determined time, before waiting in the toilets for her inevitable nausea.
How about a sticky note saying ‘meet me in the toilets at 10 am’. Nope, I’d rather make the daughter chuck.
Pretty sure I don’t need to expand on the plot any more than Mills is incriminated for a crime he did not commit, which necessitates the 60 something year old Neeson running through streets pursued by cops, only no special effects can make a 60 something guy look lightning fast, so the director seeks to address this issue with a million one second edits from all angles. The result comes across as if Neeson is herky-jerky running in stop motion, and may provoke seizures among sufferers of epilepsy.
Forest Whitaker plays the sage cop on the trail of Mills who knows deep down that Mills is innocent, admitting defeat on multiple occasions; “Don’t bother following him, you won’t catch him’, “let’s not investigate further, it probably won’t lead anywhere. His detective Frank comes across like my 8 year old son, who sleepily spits out answers to ‘did you clean your room’, only moving into gear when the threat of actually checking for evidence is uttered.
Perhaps acknowledging the incompetence of the material and the impatience of the film, Mills escapes an exploding car in exactly the same way not once, but twice, and waterboards a man in four second bursts. If this is indeed torture then it is one I could handle. I would think holding your breath for four seconds at a go is less tortuous than having to update iTunes every 15 minutes.
I jotted down that this neared ‘Transporter’ levels of action-on-autopilot laziness, only finding that the director actually helmed Transporter 3 and of course Taken 2 also.
Taken 3 is the coffee shop that builds a brand with quality products and service at a reasonable price, then franchises the name out to any old cost and corner cutting morons. The product here is Bryan Mills, but there is no evidence here of any special set of skills or base levels of quality.
In fact the only thing ‘Taken’ here is Taken the piss.
Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. Based upon what we see here, Liam Neeson is about to check in to the ‘Roger Murtaugh I am too old for this Shit’ academy.