<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Olivier Megaton. Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell
Having completely hated the second sequel in this franchise I wasn’t looking forward to Taken 3 but it manages to keep you interested in spite of all the same old action sequences.
It seems all the franchises are coming to a close with their third instalments. And for some of them, like Night At The Museum, it is indeed a good thing. Taken 2 was such a ridiculous film that I wondered what exactly was the draw of the Taken movies. It is of course Liam Neeson’s macho, killer ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills that people come back for. It certainly can’t be the story, which is pretty much the same in all the films.
If I were Bryan Mills I’d probably run away with my family to some forgotten island paradise or shoot myself. I mean it’s totally unconscionable that he’s gotten his wife and daughter into life-threating situations not once, not twice but three times!
In Taken 3, Bryan Mills is framed for a murder he didn’t commit and he flees the police in an attempt to find the real killers. There’s a chase, some intrigue and generally dopy police lead by a police chief (Forest Whitaker) who just keeps smiling in awe at the fugitive’s dexterity in evading them.
Producer Luc Besson and directed Olivier Megaton (I keep saying Megatron, for some reason!) have ramped up the actions sequences and kept the pace consistent. The mystery behind what’s actually going on and who the real bad guy is helps in maintaining audience interest even though we’ve seen all of this before.
Neeson looks a bit tired and with his paunch and bedraggled face doesn’t cut a picture of an action hero any more. Maggie Grace is satisfactory. Sam Spruell as the Russian bad guy cuts a menacing figure but there should have been a better face off between him and Bryan Mills.
Another franchise goes out on a low howl if not a whimper and certainly not with a bang. Who will fill the shoes of our beloved ‘real action heroes’? Because The Avengers will never really be as impressive as Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Nic Cage, Van Damme and yes, even Liam Neeson.