Thanks to 20th Century Fox we had the chance to see Olivier Megaton’s Taken 3 before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself.
Liam Neeson brings his “particular set of skills” to his latest role as ex-government operative, Bryan Mills. This time, Mills must fight back to prove his innocence after being set up for the murder of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). Mills needs to find the man responsible for the plot in order to clear his name and protect the thing he loves the most: his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace).
The Taken phenomenon is as singular as Liam Neeson‘s set of skills. When the film first hit cinemas back in 2009, it blew away critics and viewers alike, who hailed it as one of the best action films to grace movie screens for a long while. Much to everyone’s surprise, the Hollywood machine blew what was initially considered to be a one-off hit into a full franchise.
Thus, the Taken films are pure blockbuster fun and always deliver what is expected of them. Taken 3 is no exception to the rule, and even surpasses its predecessor. This time around, Neeson’s character serves as the main focus of the story, and the family are less involved in the action.
Obviously, the action is fantastic and Neeson demonstrates why he doesn’t need to be an ‘Expendable’ to kick ass as one of the greatest action heroes in recent years; his unique acting chops make him suitable for virtually any role, from a Lego Cop to a Jedi Master.
The secondary cast is also well-chosen, with ex-Lost star, Maggie Grace, reprising the role of Kim, but this time with a stronger, more mature personality, owing to Kim’s traumatic past experiences. Forest Whitaker makes his Taken debut as the police officer charged with tracking and bringing Mills to custody, a role that could have been more relevant. Still, Whitaker shines as usual.
Perhaps the major letdown of the film is its predictable plot twist regarding the villain, who this time does not really grab the viewers’ attention, and is not the classic, cold-blooded type witnessed in previous films.
Taken 3 opens in cinemas 8th January, 2015