Back in theatres for another go at testing his skills from director Olivier Megaton and 20th Century Fox is TAKEN 3.
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is back once again living his life and spending time with daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). Ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is still working on her marriage to husband Stuart (Dougray Scott) but not so sure that’s what she wants anymore.
Receiving a text message asking to meet up for bagels, Mills comes back to his apartment to find Lenore has been murdered. The police show up almost immediately and try (yes I said try) to take Mills into custody.
Now on the run, Investigator Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) has his men jumping through hoops to find Mills while he starts to investigate. From one moment to the next he is never quite sure Mills is really guilty. Especially when it is discovered that Stuart is in trouble with Russian businessman Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell).
One last time Mills is called upon for his particular set of skills!
FINAL WORD: Neeson as Mills gives this character one last go-around. Perfectly timed as it wouldn’t be cool having a grandfather pushing a stroller in one hand and fist punching a bad guy with the other. Mills is a calm, cool and collected type of guy and it helps to have good buddies to back him up. The best part of Neeson in this film is he takes the hits and keeps coming back for more.
Grace as Kim still has the deer-in-the-headlights look when it comes to shock or surprise or terror. Of course she stands by her father because Kim knows what we all know – Mills doesn’t off family members. This isn’t as big a role as TAKEN 2 for Grace but Dad defends her to the end.
Whitaker as Dotzler knows who he is dealing with even if the men under him don’t listen at all. I mean really? How many times is Mills going to get the best of you before it hits home “oh yea, this guy doesn’t miss a trick and perhaps we shouldn’t underestimate him”. Just asking here. It’s almost as if the character of Dotlzer lets Mills do the police work for him.
Janssen as Lenore just seemed desperate knowing she’d missed a good thing with Mills (duuuuuuh!) and Scott as Stuart just wasn’t a believable fit. Spruell as the Russian bad guy wasn’t anything new and pretty much could have done without him running around in his undies thanks.
Other cast include: Leland Orser as Sam, Jon Gries as Casey, Andrew Howard as Maxim, and Dylan Bruno as Smith.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give TAKEN 3 three tubs of popcorn out of five. The action is definitely there screaming through the streets of Los Angeles so that’s something to look forward to at least. As for the storyline, it became painfully clear early on (like the first 15 minutes) that this wasn’t going to be complicated in the slightest.
Am we disappointed? I wouldn’t say disappointed, perhaps underwhelmed is the appropriate word. When an audience spends more time whispering to each other what’s going to happen next before it happens in almost every scene – there’s a problem.
Several things hit a nerve here: 1) there was no need for the school scene as that is still a hot issue, 2) changing the actor who plays Stuart was a bad, bad idea, 4) eating evidence? and 3) watching Mills constantly be smacked around didn’t cause happiness. Sure this character got out of tangles but a few of them are questionable.
So focus on the action, his particular set of skills and take it all in stride buckling up for one more ride!
In the end – the only thing left that matters is his daughter!