Review by Ryan

Taken 3It hasn’t taken me much time to realize that Liam Neeson has been a part of the same movie several times over. It’s clear the man is making films just for the sake of working. I feel bad for the guy and what has happened in his life recently. He really does deserve much better. The now 62-year-old, who once appeared in unforgettable films such as ‘Schindler’s List’, is scraping the bottom of the barrel as a dimming action star. The ass kicking senior is back and we’re led to believe from the poster that it ends here. Did anyone ask for a third Taken, and will anyone ask for a 4th? I really do hope it ends here for Taken and for Liam Neeson’s career as an action star.

Brian Mills, the hero of the Taken trilogy, is living a normal life again. He has real life problems like any other divorced, single father living in America. But yet again, because no one can resist, Brian’s dangerous career sends this story and movie into a tailspin. This dying dog can’t find his own tail. Go live in another country Brian. Bring your family to Canada to be with the wolves. Run away into the sunset and never look back. Buy your own island like a real action star (I’m looking at you Sean Connery; at least you knew when to quit.) Yet you still live the way you live.

And you like to live dangerously. No one is safe. Brian becomes suspect #1 number one for a crime he didn’t commit, and all hell breaks loose. Brian’s reputation as a clean man is taken from him, and he’ll stop at nothing to protect the ones he loves. It’s quite clear Taken 1 and 2 at least lived up to their name. But straight up, if you think someone could get taken again in this movie, you’d be… mis-taken. At least not in the most literal sense, does anyone actually get taken, but more “taken from us” early in the movie. The title is called Taken, so someone should be taken. That should be the main character’s motivation. Taken 3 has taken away what made its first two films somewhat exciting. Any attempts for this movie to establish flow is lost with contrived, “subtle” hints and foreshadowing to try to back up a lack of “Taken” motif that falls flat on its tail.

With its tail between its legs, Taken 3 is anything but subtle, despite how hard it tries to be when presenting its ironies to the audience. You really see everything coming, except for the next unbelievable thing that will happen. The movie has blatant plot holes like how Brian appears just out of nowhere in locations, somehow survives inescapable disasters, and, need I remind you, how he resists arrest from a police force without having a heart attack! To score another point for lack of believability, Brian’s daughter is played by a 30+ year old actress who is supposed to resemble a young darling in college, but who is intimate with a boyfriend who looks like he actually goes to college. To top it off, things are explained using flashbacks and baffling callbacks, and make you face-palm at everything this story is about. Apathy of Taken 3’s cinematography is the most obvious irony of them all.

I had fun watching the action sequences of this movie at times – between face-palms (trying to believe a 62 year old man run away from police and clear rooms of henchmen). But I digress. The main problem with these action scenes is that the frames were way too messy in how they were shot or edited together. The quick cuts had an effect early on, but kept going and going. Any fun was taken away as I was feeling sick at how quick you’d see something then see something else. The shaky-cam effect, to make you feel like there is more happening that there actually is, was nauseating. Much like the bigger picture, this is a movie that tries too hard to be more action packed that it actually is. Hmm, that sounds familiar.

An Oscar winning actor named Forest Whitaker may ring a bell, as well. Two academy award nominated actors and an action packed idea for Taken 3. How can this possibly go wrong? This is a January release! None of these actors deserve this. Much like how Liam Neeson deserves better, so does Forest! These two men should be filming the next big thing, and probably working with Oprah. But he’s playing as the cat to Brain’s mouse (or dog), inspector Franck Dotzler, who just chases him all movie long, and 95% of the dialogue is over the phone. Their only scene together has them sitting and taking about some loosely tied up story clue that really makes hardly any sense whatsoever. Hmm, that sounds familiar.

If you haven’t taken your time reading this review and skipped to the very end, you may think to yourself; “well then, why should I see this movie?” I can only think of one good way to see this movie now. Get severely inebriated, watch this movie that has taken itself way too seriously, and laugh your ass off at how unbelievable this really is! If I can use the word in “taken” more in this review than this movie can in two hours. This movie has taken time away from my life I can never get back.

It’s sad how these movie stars, who could be doing so much better for themselves, are willingly letting Hollywood take away their reputation as respectable actors in the industry. Liam Neeson needs to retire. If there is another T4KEN movie, I hope Brian is taken from us. Take time away from kicking ass Liam, because I really feel as though you’ve kicked your own ass one too many times.

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