Except the audience…and their money
Author: Ethan Butterfield
Trilogies, from Lord of the Rings to Dumb and Dumber entertain us, teach us values, and rob us of money from our wallets. When you create that third film, you have a couple of options at that point. You can either expand on the universe that’s been created or re-use the same tired concept over and over again *cough* Transformers *cough*. For that reason, you’d think that a film series about Liam Neeson being a badass again and again would get a bit stale over time. Oh how wrong you’d be! This brings me to Taken 3: The Takedown or The Taker or…I don’t know. Next paragraph!
Taken 3 is the follow up to Taken 2 (surprise!), and the end, supposedly, of the Taken franchise: a film series about Liam Neeson (as Bryan Mills) going to different parts of the world and just kinda kicking the shit out of everyone. What’s interesting about Taken 3, however, is that no one in the movie is taken. Well, ok, one person is for about 10 minutes, but then Bryan just flies his car into the plane to save her and…perhaps I should back up.
The story goes like this: Bryan Mills (apparently either forgetting or just not caring that there were two other Taken movies) is still as sharp as ever. He and his wife are divorced, and their daughter really couldn’t care either way. That’s where the jokes stop, however, because Bryan’s wife is murdered. The task is then set upon him to punch, kick, and shoot his way to the truth of whom the culprit is and ultimately make them pay.
Taken 3, in my humble opinion, is worse than the first, better than second. It manages to catch that over-the-top, there’s-no-way, type of adrenaline that a lot of action films have been going for in recent years. The acting is decent for the most part; of course, it is not the type of movie that really makes you contemplate the meaning of life. Above all, though, it’s just good, not great, but good. A film where you can shut off your brain and listen to the soothing sounds of fast cars and gunfire as you enjoy another adventure brought to you by Bryan Mills. The reason that it’s not great, though, is probably because of atmosphere; the first Taken was a lot grittier and felt more realistic. Whereas in this one, you get to see Bryan Mills fight a Russian in his underwear. No, seriously.
That isn’t to say it’s not entertaining, though, just less believable. In fact, it’s even more exciting to find out what’s going to happen next because of that lack of realism. From car chases to shoot outs, this movie is packed with that over-the-top action that fans of the action genre have come to love and expect. The question is, though, would I recommend this to a fan of Taken and Taken 2? Yes and hello, Liam Neeson, for you are the only one.