Ewan Gleadow

Review: Taken 3 (5th Anniversary)

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It’s always a terrifying sight to behold when a mediocre movie receives a sequel. Taken 2 looks like the Citizen Kane of action movies compared to the third instalment with the now visibly tired Liam Neeson. The guy can’t catch a break, and this time he’s been framed for the murder of his wife.

On the run and with nothing to lose, Bryan Mills is back. 

I’m not sure why he’s back though. Considering the premise of Taken was that Mills’ daughter was taken, and the second movie was that he himself had been taken. The third in the Taken series doesn’t exactly take us anywhere but down, muddling itself in the laziest and most horrific tropes the genre has to offer.  

Throwing Forest Whittaker into the mix gives us more questions than answers and his role as Inspector Frank Dotzler is as dull as you’d expect. Dotzler seems more of a side character that pads out the lazy writing, with Whittaker being heaved into the role with little to no impact on the movie as a whole. He plays the typical playing-it-by-the-book detective, which handily allows our protagonist to stay one step ahead. 

What Luc Besson was thinking when writing the third instalment to this trilogy, I’ll truly never know; bringing back Oliver Megaton as director doesn’t seem to have helped proceedings either.  Taken 3 may be a rare occasion where the crew are more to blame than even the shoddy performances of the cast – and believe me, they’re shoddy performances.

Even the often likeable Neeson struggles, multiple characters piggybacking off of his screentime in the hopes of providing their character with a bit of backstory.  Unfortunately, every other character in this movie is bland and uninteresting.

As if a stupidly obvious twist and some pretty horrific pacing to go along with it weren’t enough, to add insult to injury, they call back to the classic bits of the first movie, but change them ever-so-slightly; this borrowing of old ideas hints strongly at total creative bankruptcy this time around. Don’t even get me started on the camera cuts and the fence jump: twenty-four cuts is more than unnecessary for three seconds of footage.

Taken 3 is one of the worst action movies not just of this century, but of all time.