HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Ramshackle, Rickety ‘Taken 3’ is Far Too Predictable

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Taken 3” is more a brand extension than a movie. Seven years after “Taken” turned Liam Neeson into an unlikely action star, “Taken 3” shows this series has completely run out of gas. The novelty of the hulking Oscar-nominee beating bad guys to a pulp wore off a long time ago, and “Taken 3” puts Neeson through the most pedestrian set of paces yet. It says something when the operative word of his first scene is “predictable.” Neeson only says it a half dozen times.

The plots of all three “Taken” movies are ludicrous, but just to give you some bearings lets go over this one anyway. This time after about 20 minutes of clumsy foreshadowing while we watch Neeson’s Bryan Mills spin his wheels waiting for something to happen, Neeson’s ex-wife (Famke Janssen) is found dead in his apartment, and he’s framed for the murder. After a little fisticuffs with the cops who come to arrest him he escapes into the Los Angeles underground.

‘Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson in ‘Taken 3’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

He’s tracking down who really killed his wife while the LAPD (headed up by Forest Whitaker) are tracking him. And for a man wanted for murder, he doesn’t do a very good job of staying out of sight. He sneaks into the morgue to snip hair from his dead ex-wife’s body and he regularly calls well known associates, along with his daughter – the one person cops would be all over like a bum on a bologna sandwich from the get-go.

Even Neeson seems bored with his badass antics by now. His sneer is on autopilot, plus screenwriter and French schlockmeister Luc Besson can’t even summon up the energy to give him anything inventive or interesting to do.

While Neeson does crash a Porsche into a plane as its taking off, and drive a car down an elevator shaft, his activities not involving expensive motorized vehicles are nothing you haven’t seen a hundred times before. As for Whitaker, he seems to be in a different universe entirely. He acts like he’s the quirky detective star of a CBS cop show, snapping rubber bands and carrying around chess pieces while he tries to figure out Mills’ next move.

Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker in ‘Taken 3’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

The “Taken” movies have always aspired to be popcorn movies in the dumbest sense. They’re B-movie blockbusters that rely on Neeson’s hulking size and Oscar pedigree to lend them some class and allow them to redefine the limits of credibility.

But even at 62 years old, Neeson still retains his particular set of skills, and in the end “Taken 3” doesn’t put them to particularly good use. It often looks and feels like a quickie sequel meant to grind out one more installment before a series conks out entirely. This jalopy of an action vehicle should head straight to the scrap yard.

“Taken 3” opens everywhere on January 9th. Featuring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott, Jonny Weston and Sam Spruell. Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Directed by Oliver Megatron. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters

By SPIKE WALTERS
Contributor
HollywoodChicago.com
spike@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2015 Spike Walters, HollywoodChicago.com

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
96 - = 40
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker