Taken 3 Screen 13 articles

Taken 3

2014

Taken 3 Poster
  • Spectacularly bland, and lacking the bad-time politics of the Death Wish sequels. It's the worst thing an action movie can be: deathly dull.

  • Mr. Megaton’s direction of action sequences borders on atrocious. Ragged camerawork and editing ruin freeway car chases and hand-to-hand combat alike. The logy screenplay, by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, sags under head-clutchingly banal dramatic scenes. Only Mr. Neeson’s appeal somehow survives unscathed, perhaps the most impressive stunt of all.

  • The latest, and ostensibly final, installment in the Taken series has landed on our doorstep with a heavy thud. Directed by the aptly named Olivier Megaton and co-written and produced by Luc Besson, the film is, like its predecessors, a numbing exercise in overkill.

  • A guy who willing changed his surname to Megaton should be able to deliver more enjoyable genre pieces. This is so atrocious shot all its many other mistakes barely deserve mention. Taken 3 nearly turned me into an aesthetic reactionary that advocates from all action scenes to have lengthy and stable shots (no mistake: those are good things, but critics can go overboard in that purism).

  • Running out of kidnapped relatives for Liam Neeson’s ex-CIA killing machine to rescue, scribes Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen turn him into a fugitive framed for murder in “Taken 3,” a mind-numbing, crash-bang misfire that abandons chic European capitals for the character’s own backyard. French director Olivier Megaton, who at least paced “Taken 2″ with workmanlike efficiency, executes the pedestrian plot without a shred of tension or finesse.

  • Starting with the unimaginative (and, as it happens, incorrect) title, "Taken 3," directed by Oliver Megaton, is both lazy and tremendously overwrought. Anchored, as always, by a sincere performance by Liam Neeson, as well as the additional gravitas provided by Forest Whitaker as the police officer tracking Neeson down, the film pulses with indifference.

  • Taken 3 is a Papa John’s pizza. It is, make no mistake, utter garbage, but on one day out of the year it might hit the spot... A good hype man can sell anything, and there were a few in my small crowd who were volubly excited every time Mills pistol-whipped anyone, which was often, not to speak of the spontaneous applause that erupted when he finally got to haul out and put a stomping on Dougray Scott, to the point where what I was looking at seemed much more exciting than it actually was.

  • So what, exactly, is wrong with Taken 3? A lot of things, most of which can be attributed to the fact that director Olivier Megaton couldn’t mount an action scene if his life depended on it. Pierre Morel [the director of the first Taken] at least had the good sense to move the camera with Neeson, playing off of his size and heft to create momentum. Making good on his name, Megaton takes the quantity-over-quality approach, executing a flurry of cuts across as many sloppy angles as possible.

  • Director Olivier Megaton’s rapid-fire cutting is meant to bring some kinetic energy to the proceedings, but this time around, it comes across less as stylized frenzy and more as desperation. When you need ten shots just to show Liam Neeson clearing a fence, the overall effect isn’t, “Wow, that’s exciting,” but rather, “Wow, Liam Neeson must be getting really old.”

  • Near the start of Taken 3, Liam Neeson's perpetually unlucky ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills tries to show his college-aged daughter how "unpredictable" her old man can be by showing up at her apartment a few days before her birthday to present her with her gift. It is a giant stuffed panda. Even the filmmakers acknowledge how stupid this is—in fact, they can't seem to acknowledge it enough, milking this awkward display of affection for maybe a half-dozen unfunny one-liners.

  • This is one of the most hectically edited movies I’ve ever seen (I don’t think there’s an action shot that exceeds three seconds). But the cutting can’t disguise Neeson’s slowness. American law enforcement has been under a lot of stress and scrutiny lately. But failing to catch a big-ass 62-year-old Irish dude running through alleyways and living rooms will only add insult to injury.

  • There’s little to be said about this dutiful exercise in grunting sadism beyond the likelihood that if you enjoyed the first two, well, you may still notice this one’s deficiencies in craft and plotting.

  • It seems a little pointless going through the film in detail – but suffice to say that Taken 3 is better than Taken 2, the kind of blithely insouciant, cheerfully generic entertainment one expects from the Luc Besson ‘factory’. Suffice to say that a car tumbles down a cliff, bouncing off the rocks in full drawn-out detail, more cars get flattened by a large container in the midst of a highway chase, and an explosion in a confined space forms a photogenic line of fire up the side of a building.