So now we can discuss this series of films as the Taken trilogy, despite many wishing the original cult classic had just been left as a standalone film. Anyway I was one of the rare fans of the sequel and whilst it wasn’t as good as the first I still enjoy it and credit it as a good action movie. As a result of that I saw no reason why a third solid installment couldn’t be achieved.
I fear for this film, as people tore the second to shreds I’m afraid that Taken 3 has no chance of maintaining any credibility for this series. There was so much wrong with this movie and so many just awful decisions that ruin scenes. Lets start with the action, which should have been the best element of this film. Unfortunately there were several issues with this element. Firstly all of the action sequences were shot terribly, especially chase sequences on foot. All of these had so much shaky camera work and for a lot of the time it was hard to actually see what was going on. The quality of the action was just poor too, instead of making two or three really great action sequences the decision was made to feature about six or seven but of course as you can imagine it was the quality of these scenes that was the issue, CGI was an element of this too with some really awful moments. For the first time in a Neeson action flick I thought the star looked tired, has he seen his day in terms of this one-man war action genre? I think he possibly has, I couldn’t help think that all that shaky cam during the chase sequences was there to mask his ability. Another issue was just how Neeson’s character (Mills) was able to get out of situations, often there was no explanation as to how he escaped certain things and they just continued to become more and more unbelievable. It was frustrating though as I could see the potential for many of the scenes but the issues that I have mentioned above just held them back from ever becoming good.
The dialogue in this film is the worst it has ever been, some highlights include; bagels, yellow sweaters, a stuffed panda and fantasies. A lot of these lines were laughter inducing and the screening I saw this film in had an audience laughing far too much at a film that wasn’t trying to be funny. Some decisions made just in terms of costume, or lack of it, were just baffling too. It just showed me how important such small details can be for potentially compromising entire scenes at a time. Forest Whitaker couldn’t even bring anything praise-worthy to the proceedings, being one of the worst and most random detectives action thrillers have seen in recent years. There is a theme of predictability that runs through this story and unfortunately the film followed suit being so predictable. Due to this and everything else I have mentioned you felt every of the 109 minutes that this movie lasted. However as harsh as I am being, I still enjoyed the film. There are several likeable characters in this series so it was good to watch them in action again. There were of course still some badass Neeson moments and as I said before some potential for nice action sequences. However the biggest issue I have with this film is that there is just no point for it. It has no links to the first two films, whereas the second movie was a revenge film from the villain’s point of view, but here a story has just been constructed for the sake of making a third film and there just wasn’t enough substance.
Taken 3 was a step too far and I really hope that it does all end here. It is a watchable film however it is easily forgettable and entertaining for the wrong reasons. As an action film that element should have at least been on point, maybe making the other issues more excusable but it got this fundamental element wrong meaning that it was an uphill battle from the word go. To add to this there wasn’t even any need for this film, it adds nothing to the trilogy and will only give more ammunition to the haters of this genre, on this occasion though that hate is completely justified.
BIGGEST FLAW – There was no point for this film
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – There were a couple of good action moments e.g. Porsche vs plane.
Rating – 5/10