Taken 3 – movie review

Taken 3 is proof that Hollywood will churn out sequel after sequel of a movie, no matter how awful, as long as it is still turning a profit. That’s only to be expected. After all, the movie studios are in business to make money.

What is disappointing, however, is that the movie-going public continues to watch this nonsense.  Taken 3 was the top grossing movie in the country last week.

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Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, and ex-special forces guy, who is framed for the murder of his ex-wife (Played by Famke Janssen). Mills escapes from the police, and then searches for his wife’s real killer. Mills is pursued by a clever police detective (played by Forest Whitaker).


A far superior movie with a similar plot is The Fugitive from 1993 starring Harrison Ford as the wrongly-convicted man and Tommy Lee Jones as the U.S. Marshall chasing him.

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Whereas The Fugitive relied on character development and plot twists, the plot in Taken 3 is simply an excuse to have a lot of car chases and gun fights. In The Fugitive, Harrison Ford came across as a real man trying to survive.

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In Taken 3;  Liam Neeson is more like a super-hero who can single-handedly fight off legions of bad guys who all have automatic weapons.  Of course, the bad guys are Russian and have all the cliche Russian bad-guy characteristics.  They have Russian prison tattoos, wear leather jacket, and when off-duty relax in hot tubs with beautiful women. They might as well have come straight out of a James Bond movie.

In addition to finding the real killer, Neeson’s character wants to make sure that the evil Russians do not harm his daughter Kim (Played by Maggie Grace). She is an excellent actress, but unfortunately her character does not get to do much besides tell everyone her father is innocent, and wait for bad guys to attack her so that her father can kill them.

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We will not give away any more of the plot, but there is one scene that is so ridiculous we just have to mention it.  Even though he is on the run, Mills wants to meet Kim in person to discuss things. He knows that she always buys a juice drink at the same convenience store each day.

He leaves a note on a bottle of the juice telling her to drink it immediately.  He has put something in the drink that makes her feel sick when she is in school and she had to go to the bathroom. He then meets her in the bathroom and gives her the antidote. He did all this so that he could meet her in the bathroom to  talk. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to just leave a note on the juice bottle that said “meet me in the bathroom at school?”

We understand why Liam Neeson made this movie. He reportedly got paid $20 million for this sequel compared to the $1 million he made for the original.  Not many people would  walk away from a pay check that big.

If you enjoy lots of car chases, machine gun fire and freeway crashes, then you might like this film. However, if you have any interest in plot or characters, this is not the movie for you.

We give this movie 2 Stars **

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