So after a surprise hit back in 2008, Liam Neeson became the badass Irish father figure guys wanted to be, and gals wanted to have. Flash forward to 2014 and somehow the world just won’t leave Bryan Mills and his family alone. I never made it to the theater to see this one, so I picked it up at Redbox, and I am a bit let down to say this is not the highest note for the franchise to end.
I really do not want to go over the plot since I like to keep things spoiler free but if you’ve seen the trailer you have already seen the major points of the movie (this is not the 70’s, so please stop showing the whole plot in the trailer!). All you need to know is that after wiping out what seems like a 1/3 of Europe’s population in two previous movies some bad guys still think it is a good idea to f*** with Bryan Mills’s family. Which I think is the weakest point of the film, having the family be in danger AGAIN creates a been there-done that feel to the movie which takes away from that high stakes, race against the clock feeling you should get from a TAKEN movie. That is what made the first film keep us all on the edge of our seats. Will he find his daughter in time? Where is she? What will she be like if he does find her? It was an action/thriller/mystery that was a surprise. I was really hoping for the final movie they changed it up and made it about Bryan and his old team of friends tying up a loose end by doing one last ‘Prevention” mission together, there was so much potential there and the audience would have loved to have seen Bryan Mill’s skills to the fullest with his old gang of friends (who are still awesome in this movie by the way.)
Director Olivier Megaton does know how to make a film look vibrant and beautiful. But the action scenes suffer from too many fast edits. Liam Neeson is an older, practical type of action hero, he doesn’t need to be perfect, quick and flashy. It would have been nice to just have seen some rough looking punches and kicks instead of a fight scene that gets edited to the point where all the car chases and fight scenes play out like snippets instead of full out scenes. It really pulled me out from the experience and distracted me.
This movie is not terrible, had it been an unrelated to Liam Neeson’s biggest franchise, I may have cut it a bit more slack, but since it was advertised as the grand finale to one of the biggest breakout action characters of the past decade, it could have used a more thoughtful send off. Plus I got the Blu-Ray from Redbox and it had no special features- DAMN!
I give Taken 3- A BRONZE medal. All the actors are still great, likable and fun to watch, (Forest Whitaker is a nice addition) but the quick editing that takes away from the action and a pretty weak plot TAKE away from the high hopes I had from this grand finale (Did you see what I did there??) Worth a rent, but be warned- it will not keep your heart racing like its predecessor.