Taken 3

 

starstar

 


The third in the Bryan Mills trilogy fails to deliver the adrenalin.

 

Bryan Mills is the fittest, unluckiest 62-year-old in the movies. Having seen his daughter kidnapped in Taken (in Paris) and his ex-wife taken hostage in Taken 2 (in Istanbul), he’s now facing family problems on his home turf in Los Angeles. And then he’s framed for murder…

 

The appropriately named Olivier Megaton returns Taken 3for directorial duties on the final leg of this ludicrous – and occasionally ludicrously entertaining – trilogy (he helmed the last instalment) with varying results. Based on a screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (who also wrote the other two), the film is largely lazy, formulaic and absurd. Taking Mills’ mysterious skills on trust (which he learned in the CIA), the film moves him around like a crazed chess piece with little logical explanation. Now you see him… But the real problem with Taken 3 is that the action sequences only periodically deliver, while the snarling Russian villain (played by the English actor Sam Spruell) is such a caricature that he’s a joke.

 

As Mills, Liam Neeson more or less sleepwalks through his role, except when dispatching a gang of trained assassins on, as he explained earlier, very low blood sugar. Who needs sugar then? But Forest Whitaker does lend the film a gravitas it doesn’t deserve as a “very smart” cop – albeit a cop not smart enough to catch Bryan Mills.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, Jonny Weston, Don Harvey.

 

Dir Olivier Megaton, Pro Luc Besson, Screenplay Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, Ph Eric Kress, Pro Des Sébastien Inizan, Ed Audrey Simonaud and Nicolas Trembasiewicz, Music Nathaniel Méchaly, Costumes Olivier Bériot.

 

EuropaCorp/M6 Films/TSG Entertainment/Canal+/Ciné+/M6-20th Century Fox.

108 mins. France/USA/Spain. 2014. Rel: 8 January 2015. Cert. 12A.