Taken 3 Blu-ray Review
Sequels to movies that never should have gotten a sequel can go one of two ways. On a good day, they’re essentially a remake of the original film and follow the same basic plotline, just not as efficiently. That sums up TAKEN 2. On a bad day, they’re a lazy departure and nothing but a quick cash grab, hoping to capitalize on the name alone. That about sums up TAKEN 3. My expectations for TAKEN 3 were extremely low; I was just hoping to see Liam Neeson beat up some bad guys for 90 minutes. But what I got was a B-movie quality film with a discombobulated story and terrible action scenes.
Bryan Mills (Neeson) is enjoying his quiet life and trying to stay connected to his daughter Kim (Grace) and reconnect with his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). But one day he comes home to find Lenore murdered in his bed with the cops thinking he did it. So he goes on the run, intent on proving his innocence. We come to learn Lenore’s new husband is the one that tries to set Bryan up, but it’s sloppily done and technically, Bryan isn’t even the one to uncover the devious plot. In fact, he doesn’t do anything intelligent or do any real investigating. The big reveal happens because Kim just happens to mention that her step-dad is acting strange. That was enough to foil his evil plan. So keep that in mind if you ever plan out an evil plot to set up your wife’s ex husband; don’t act strange.
Bryan spends his time running from everyone, but has no plan or forethought in anything he does. When there is action, it’s shot terribly, with no sense of space or direction. The action scenes also lacked any tension or intensity, which made them feel worthless. In the first Taken film, it was exciting to see Neeson walk into a room of bad guys and fight his way through. But here, when he’s not getting beat up by the bad guys, he’s barely holding his own. There’s no intrigue or question about whether or not he’ll make it. Everything is done so poorly that by the time we get the big reveal and make it to the final battle, we’re almost hoping Bryan doesn’t make it for fear of having to sit through a TAKEN 4.
If it weren’t for Liam Neeson, this never would have made it to theaters. This is TAKEN 3, not a straight to video film shot in some obscure Russian city, but you wouldn’t know that by watching it. Neeson supposedly commanded $20 million for TAKEN 3 and I have to assume that’s the reason every other aspect of the film was lacking. Apparently, they found the budget for Neeson by cutting out the screenwriters, fight choreographers and editors. Director Olivier Megaton isn’t known for directing great action films (COLUMBIANA, TRANSPORTER 3), but this felt bad, even for him. But he’s not alone in the blame. Luc Besson delivered a terrible screenplay and even Liam Neeson looked tired and bored with the film.
I really liked TAKEN and I tolerated TAKEN 2, but TAKEN 3 was a waste of time. The frustrating thing about TAKEN 3 is that it doesn’t take much to make an enjoyable Taken movie. You simply put Liam Neeson is situations where he has to beat up bad guys, then let him speak quietly and intently into a phone a couple of times and you have a fun movie. But no one involved in TAKEN 3 got that memo and the result is a movie that was better suited for the direct to video market.
Video: TAKEN 3 actually looks pretty great on Blu-ray. Megaton has a nice visual style, even if he doesn’t have much direction to go with it.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Deleted Scene (7:15): Only 1 scene here and it was forgettable.
Sam’s Bunker, AKA The Rabbit Hole (3:01): An animated tour of one of the sets used in the film.
Taken to LA (4:16): A quick look at the various LA settings.
Gallery, Theatrical Trailer