So I watched Taken 3…
First off let me say, I’m a huge fan of the Taken series and watching Liam Neeson kill people is one of the most entertaining things to come out of cinema in the last few years. I also don’t think Taken 2 was the disaster everyone is saying it was. Sure, it wasn’t as good as the first movie but it had enjoyable elements and showed off other sections of Mr Mills’ “particular set of skills”. My main problem with Taken 2 was that it wasn’t ambitious enough. It didn’t try to create any new magic and just used reused the same elements that made the first movie such a success. Now when I saw Taken 3’s trailer I was really excited – the scale of the movie seemed larger, no one was been ‘taken’ and Forest Whittaker was going to be hunting Liam Neeson. How can that not excite you? Sadly though, the best thing about this movie was the trailer.
Okay, basic plot: Liam Neeson is back as Bryan Mills, everyone’s favourite overprotective father with a particular set of skills. But this time he isn’t trying to save his daughter or escape bloodthirsty Albanians, this time he’s on the run from the cops because they think he killed his ex wife. Sounds totally different from the first two right? And it totally is, well it is until Bryan has to protect his daughter and kill Eastern Europeans. Wait…it isn’t different at all actually.
I hated watching this movie. It was completely pointless. The action scenes were devoid of any any excitement or sense of danger. One of the best things about the first Taken movie was the fight scenes. They felt so real and weren’t the usual polished, overly-choreographed set pieces that Hollywood loves forcing down our throats. Bryan was a badass not just because he knew how to kick ass but because the reason he was kicking ass – to save his daughter – was translated into his determined fighting style. That’s why watching Liam Neeson kill people is so much fun, because he executes the emotion behind the violence as well as the violence itself. In this movie you can see that all that emotion is dried up. Neeson looks like he’s just going through the motions in every fight scene and that the only reason he’s there is so he can collect a pay cheque.
Now I probably would have been able to handle the fight scenes’ lack of emotion if they were at least still visually and technically attractive but they aren’t. The actors look bored and there’s never any intensity in their fighting. Plus the actual choreography of the fights is incredibly dull. These people are trained killers but they throw punches like kids with Cerebral Palsy.
Besides the tired fight scenes, Neeson looks like he’s on the verge of dying of old age in every scene of this movie. The indifference he shows in his fight scenes is matched only by the level of apathy he delivers his dialogue with. I’m a huge Liam Neeson fan and think he’s one of the most underrated treasures in Hollywood but his performance in this movie is shocking. He looks disinterested, bored and completely over his character.
Another problem this movie has is a horrible script. Luc Beeson has done some amazing work in the past but this movie has to go down as a massive miss. The dialogue isn’t charming or interesting. It also isn’t very original. The speech that Bryan says in this first movie where he explains that he will find and kill these people if they take his daughter is iconic; now instead of thinking up another badass speech, Beeson just uses this speech over and over again in this movie. He doesn’t use the exact words but we all know he’s just recycling the speech. The characters are also straight out of the cliché box of movie villains. They’re Russian and ex military oh and have a million tattoos. They literally don’t have any personalities. It was like watching a Transformers movie but instead of random deceptions, we have random Russians.
My favourite thing about this movie was when the closing credits came up and I could leave the cinema. This movie had so much potential but the filmmakers aren’t prepared to take any risks and actually create any new magic. It’s a bore of a movie and I wouldn’t suggest seeing it in the cinema or anywhere else. But if you insist on seeing this…good luck. 3/10