Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Taken 3

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Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

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Cast

Liam Neeson – Bryan Mills

Maggie Grace – Kim Mills

Forest Whitaker – Inspector Franck Dotzler

Sam Spruell – Oleg Malankov

Dougray Scott – Stuart St. John

Famke Janssen – Lenore St. John

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Before the movie began the certification came up on screen, announcing: ’12’.
This movie was suitable for persons of twelve years and upwards.
And boy didn’t it prove it..

Taken 3 has to be one of the worst, most irrelevant third helping to a movie I have ever had to sit through. The feature is your classic tough-guy ‘shoot-em-up’ bullshit, complete with donut-eating cops, freeways that seem to be readily available for a high-speed car chase with no casualties, a group of heavily armed and incredibly smart security guards who seem to buckle at the last minute and lose all talents to one singular man holding a singular gun..

Yes. It’s one of those. Thing is, it’s almost an insult to the previous movies. I really enjoyed the first, didn’t mind the second at all. But the third – fuck me, I sat there wondering why it had been produced..

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Predictions

Before you watch Taken 3 I challenge you – to predict how many times within the first twenty minutes the word ‘PREDICTABLE’ will be said.

When Bryan stops by to visit his daughter Kim in her new apartment, a greasy scene unfolds where the pair try to reconcile their differences (Bryan trying to make an effort, Kim playing the ‘I’m a grown up now’ card). The word ‘predictable’ pops up once. Twice. Again and again. I honestly thought the writer was taking the piss, but it seems to all be part of the dialogue. See if you can spot what I mean.

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Tacky

One of my main observations of the movie is how tacky the dialogue between Bryan and his daughter are. One scene sees them both sat in a cafe, when Kim suddenly makes an announcement (she’s pregnant, basically).
“I’m having a..”

..but she makes a meal of the cliché long silence – before quickly sputtering, “..a puppy”.

The actors got the whole ‘distant’ chemistry right, it was the rest of it that had no dynamic. As the pair sat at the table, cringeworthy conversation flowing, I myself sat through the entire scene with my arms folded, no expression at all on my face. The whole thing was tacky and seemed irrelevant. The ending scene was the cherry on the slimey cake as Bryan, Kim and her boyfriend (who appears at the beginning of the movie only to piss off and reappear at the end) sit on a park bench in front of a setting sun, talking about “the baby”.
“I wanna name her Lenore. After mom”, Kim says. To which Bryan grins and replies, “that’s a great idea”. A scene which could have portrayed a nice, deep emotion couldn’t have been less effective. Like the café scene, it was flat and lacked any energy. The camera pans out away from the characters, and I swear if the crew were audible, you’d hear sighs of “thank. God”.

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Added to this (yes, there’s more) was the scene where Lenore visits Bryan at his apartment. He pours her a drink. They talk briefly. Then she grabs her coat and leaves – as if there was absolutely no point to her arriving. She was in and out like a toilet cubicle. This part lacked any substance and was clearly thrown in sporadically by the director to bulk the movie out. Not good.

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‘LOL’

Bryan uses a payphone to call Kim shortly after discovering Lenore’s body in his apartment. His daughter is mortified at the news, and demands to know who did it. To which Bryan responds, “I don’t know who. Or why. But I’m gonna find out”.

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The audience in the auditorium laughed out loud.
Yes. Actually LOL’d – during a powerful movie moment you’d think would be gripping. Of course, the reception could have been recognition of the viewer’s familiarity with Bryan muscling in on the action (as in the previous films), but I had a feeling they were laughing at how ridiculous the moment was. I honestly couldn’t believe how awful this movie was turning out. Neeson seemed to be doing a brilliant job at coasting through the script with a voice that mirrored those of the actors from farcical movies, such as Scary Movie. As if the cast of Taken 1 and 2 got together in a bar one night and drunkenly agreed to film a sarcastic spin-off.

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Gone Boy

About thirty minutes into the movie, Bryan seems to wander off. The man has discovered his wife’s body and is clearly on a mission to track down who did it. But before he does, he needs to make his way to his daughter.

Gone.

For some bizarre reason, it takes 45 minutes for Bryan to get to Kim and in all that time he seems to fade into the background. The movie is clogged with random dialogue between various characters which seemingly leads nowhere. I sat letting the movie wash over me for a while, but suddenly realised nothing was actually happening. And Bryan had buggered off somewhere.
“please”, I thought to myself, “please let something GOOD happen. Something effective..”

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Cereal Killer

During a liquer store shoot-up, Bryan gets involved with a handful of very nasty men. “oh yay” I thought, “something good”.

..I was more interested in which brands of cereal the store had on its shelves.
I actually spotted Reese’s Puffs at first, then a box of Lucky Charms erupted as the shelving unit collapsed.
Shame, that. I quite like Lucky Charms.

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Although packed with big beefy men (the scene, not the cereal), this scene was as uneventful as a game of Chess. I would say Neeson makes a great job of sliding around corners and jumping through the air whilst shooting guns in the air – but that’s all he does isn’t it? In every movie he’s in. So sadly, no new sides to his talents here, as he coasted through Taken 3 like he does in everything else.
Still, one of my favourite cereals made an appearance.

Right, enough of this. I honestly don’t have the enthusiasm to continue writing about Taken 3. I will round off this review though by confirming that this movie was just AWFUL, from slimey beginning to uneventful end. If you want car crashes that have no effect on the audience, this is your movie. If you crave dull, irrelevant dialogue between characters, look no further. If you enjoy ‘thrillers’ where the audience actually laugh as the main bad guy falls to the floor dead – here you are.

I genuinely enjoyed Taken 1 and Taken 2. Taken 3 was something else. Almost an insult to its predecessors, it delivered very little in terms of excitement or gripping moments and instead, focuses on losing its hero to bad script and ill-structured action. Bryan pissing off for 45 minutes was the spanner in the works, and ultimately led to the movie’s collapse. The movie totally lost its way, and so did I as I sat arms folded, craving the feature to finish.

I would honestly warn Taken fans to avoid this installment at all costs. Costs being the right word, because if anyone actually paid to see this they’re bloody fools. Harsh but fair.

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2015 by .
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