Action movies live on tropes. Lets see; there’s the “getting away from the police in the one second needed to loose them” and there’s the “gun with unlimited bullets” and probably the most overly used, “the hero that can take multiple gunshots while the henchmen only need one”. This is not only something that is satirized in many sketch comedies, but it is often made fun of in the movies their in. These clichés have been used over and over again as a means to conjure up sequences for the screenplay much faster. No to the credit, writers are not best minds behind something action related; that falls into the directors hands.
With a good director, you get good action. With good action and a credible actor, you get Taken. The movie opened up in 2008 and made surprising money at the box office. It wasn’t a great movie, but I had fun. What I thought made the movie stand out more was that it was discussing the dangers of traveling and sex trafficking. In 2012, Taken 2 got audiences rooting for Liam Neeson again as he was…rescuing his kidnapped ex wife. It was a boring rehash of the original. It surprises me that we now have Taken 3 to close the trilogy.
Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) seems to have fallen back into his routine in the events before the first movie; He’s still retired from the CIA, hanging out with his golfing buddies and visiting his adult daughter Kim (played by Maggie Grace). He still sees her as “daddy’s girl” and even gives her a stuffed animal for her birthday. On the side, Brian is still communicating with his ex-wife Lenore (played by Famke Janssen), even finding out that she may not be happy with her current husband, Stuart.
One morning, Brian receives a text from Lenore that they need to talk. He grabs some bagels and arrives back to his apartment to discover her dead body on his bed. While contemplating over his love, the police swarm in, obviously arresting him for murder. He pleads that he didn’t do it and escapes into the sewers. Police inspector Frank Dotzler (played by Forrest Whitaker) seems determined to find Brian, even though he may have second thoughts when Brian doesn’t fire back on the police in his escape. Brian uses his CIA spy skills to track the real killer before he tries to strike his daughter.
What surprises me about the whole Taken franchise is that they even made sequels. I think that there was only enough steam for one movie. The last movie was a boring rehash and this one…is just boring. While I’m glad they tried to do something new, Brian’s scenario of proving his innocence is The Fugitive set up that’s been done many times before. I wouldn’t mind if the setup had been more interesting, but I could care less about his wife, as I never got to know her in this movie, let alone the others.
The Fugitive may have given us little time to get to know Dr. Kimble’s wife, but that movie had some fun action. I would have been more open to Taken 3 if the action at least been enjoyable, but it comes off as more run-of-the-mill. I blame the director for giving us some non imaginative sequences (with the exception of a couple of car chase sequences) and an escape story I could care less. I like Liam Neeson and I hope that this Taken movie is truly the last of the series. He just seems as tired of it as I am.
I’ll give this two bagel bags out of five. Writing this, I can barley remember much of the story and I don’t think any research is going to change my opinion. 20th century Fox needs to take away Taken from it’s roster and search for another action story.