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Review: Taken 3

Taken 3
01.08.2015
3 10
Taken 3 liam neeson banner

PLOT: Terminally unlucky former special agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is framed for the murder of his ex-wife. Now, he must use his “special skills” not only to prove his innocence and solve her murder, but also to find those responsible and punish them – brutally.

REVIEW: It's stunning how quickly the TAKEN series has run out of gas. The original – directed by Pierre Morel as opposed to the Olivier Megaton for the sequels – was by no means a classic, but it was an efficient, highly entertaining actioner. It also gave star Liam Neeson – deep into middle age – the full-fledged movie stardom that often eluded him. Thanks to the series, Neeson is now one of only a handful of stars that can be called truly bankable (in action anyway).

Taken 3 liam neeson

Sequels should have been easy. All writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen had to do was spin-off Mills into some cool adventures, but instead they made the first sequel such a rip-off of the original, it felt more like a remake than a follow-up. The third one somehow manages to be an even worse movie. While they at least ditched the premise of someone being 'taken' instead they've put Neeson into a concept that's so unoriginal (man-on-the-run) and low-rent that it feels like everyone involved – from the writers to the director to the star – just decided to put as little effort into the follow-up as possible.

How bad is TAKEN 3? How about this – at one point in the movie Neeson is offscreen for about twenty-minutes. And he's literally the only reason to watch this. Instead we follow around Forest Whitaker and his Keystone Kops colleagues as they try to find Mills, spouting off such cornball lines like “he couldn't find a tail if it was attached to a dog.” Given that this runs close to two hours, this entire stretch could have been cut and no one would have known the difference. The supporting cast is pretty bad too with Whitaker's colleagues all being generic cop types (although Whitaker is clearly trying), while Maggie Grace has virtually nothing to do except stand around all doe-eyed and worry about her insanely bad-ass dad (she should know by now that she doesn't need to worry). What's even worse is how low-rent it is. Megaton furiously edits the film to try and fool us into thinking that we're watching a thriller, but for seventy percent of the movie nothing happens, except a car chase/pile-up that's so lame, it would have Vin Diesel hang his head in shame if it turned up in a FAST & FURIOUS. Scratch that – something does happen. People talk into cell phones. A lot. If you want to see a movie with people talking on phones, watching videos, or using computers, this is the movie for you.

Taken 3 liam neeson

The only explanation for how curiously short of action most of TAKEN 3 is is that most of the budget went into Neeson's paycheck, and rather than cut into the profits, the actual production budget was dialed down. Thus, no more European locales (this is set in L.A), and very little in the way of set-pieces. Things only star to liven up about seventy-minutes into the film, when Neeson finally goes into action mode, but even then the action scenes are only okay (although for a guy in his sixties Neeson looks great and moves incredibly well). For most of the film there's not even a bad guy to hiss at, with the villain (after a brief introduction in the pre-credits sequence) being a generic Russian gangster who's only introduced right before the climactic action scene. There are a few red-herrings sprinkled throughout, but nothing that most viewers won't have predicted by about ten minutes in.

TAKEN 3 really is shockingly bad, even by TAKEN 2's already low-standard. It's a shame this franchise has been run into the ground, but then again, I'm sure this will make money so we'll likely get a TAKEN 4: THE PAYCHECK that's even worse. TAKEN 3 (or TAK3N - ugh) is so bad that other than a moment or two during the (few) action scenes, the only time I was enjoying myself was when my friend whispered “Darkman” during the bit when Neeson's solemnly marching through a sewer system. Sigh, I wish I had been watching DARKMAN. Heck, even NON-STOP or UNKNOWN would have been way better.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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11:13PM on 01/18/2015
How are people defending this? 3/10 is generous enough. Fuckin bagels, man.
How are people defending this? 3/10 is generous enough. Fuckin bagels, man.
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12:51AM on 01/10/2015

I'll check it

Then come up with my own thoughts.Taken 2 was garbage though.
Then come up with my own thoughts.Taken 2 was garbage though.
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11:21PM on 01/09/2015
This review is a joke. Saw it tonight. Is it as good as the first? No. But 3/10?? I would give it a solid 6 or a 7.
This review is a joke. Saw it tonight. Is it as good as the first? No. But 3/10?? I would give it a solid 6 or a 7.
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10:13PM on 01/09/2015
Taken & Taken 2 sucked.Olivier Megatron is an awful director and Neeson keeps playing the same type of character for almost a decade.The fact that this 3rd one sucks too is no big surprise.
Taken & Taken 2 sucked.Olivier Megatron is an awful director and Neeson keeps playing the same type of character for almost a decade.The fact that this 3rd one sucks too is no big surprise.
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1:28PM on 01/09/2015
This sounds like the Hangover trilogy all over again in how the first was an unexpected success followed by two cash grabs of an idea that barely sustained one movie
This sounds like the Hangover trilogy all over again in how the first was an unexpected success followed by two cash grabs of an idea that barely sustained one movie
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12:56PM on 01/09/2015

“He couldn't find a tail if it was attached to a dog.”

Sounds like something Patches O'Houlihan would have said in Dodgeball to go alongside with "You couldn't hit water if you fell out of a boat".
Sounds like something Patches O'Houlihan would have said in Dodgeball to go alongside with "You couldn't hit water if you fell out of a boat".
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12:46PM on 01/09/2015
Can't say i didn't see this coming. why do they keep giving movies to Oliver Megaton, he's the worst director out of Luc Besson's camp. Colombiana was trash, Taken 2 sucked, and so did The Transporter 3.
Can't say i didn't see this coming. why do they keep giving movies to Oliver Megaton, he's the worst director out of Luc Besson's camp. Colombiana was trash, Taken 2 sucked, and so did The Transporter 3.
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+0
12:40PM on 01/09/2015

Too harsh?

I didnt see taken 2 or 3, but 3 out of 10 seems pretty bad - i mean if its a passable action film it should get like 5 or 6 no?
3/10 - fuck thats like getting close to human centipede or something.
I didnt see taken 2 or 3, but 3 out of 10 seems pretty bad - i mean if its a passable action film it should get like 5 or 6 no?
3/10 - fuck thats like getting close to human centipede or something.
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10:40PM on 01/09/2015
No, it's pretty bad. I spent $6 at matinee, and I still felt a little hyped. I was bored through most of it. Plus this is actually the first movie where the action editing had me confused.
No, it's pretty bad. I spent $6 at matinee, and I still felt a little hyped. I was bored through most of it. Plus this is actually the first movie where the action editing had me confused.
10:28AM on 01/10/2015
Cool. Yeah maybe it does suck that much. 3 just seemed pretty low. Hahaha
Cool. Yeah maybe it does suck that much. 3 just seemed pretty low. Hahaha
11:27AM on 01/09/2015
Taken 3 was pretty damn good in my book, I'd give it a 7 (out of 10). The reviewer is being way too dramatic to give it anything under a 5.5.
Taken 3 was pretty damn good in my book, I'd give it a 7 (out of 10). The reviewer is being way too dramatic to give it anything under a 5.5.
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10:50PM on 01/09/2015
No, sadly, as much as I wanted to like this, it was pretty bad. I'd say it's about right. And that you have a low standard when it comes to movie quality.

Not to say that I excellence this to be Oscar worthy, but even compared to the popcorn fun the first was, it's pretty lame.
No, sadly, as much as I wanted to like this, it was pretty bad. I'd say it's about right. And that you have a low standard when it comes to movie quality.

Not to say that I excellence this to be Oscar worthy, but even compared to the popcorn fun the first was, it's pretty lame.
10:58AM on 01/09/2015
Run this franchise into the ground? The movie never should have been turned into a franchise. TAKEN was a one and done movie, that story is completely wrapped up at the end of that the movie. There was no logical place to take Bryan Mills from there. I know they came up with the lame revenge story for TAKEN 2, but that movie was lame. The sequels have only ruined a great action movie by watering down it's effect.
Run this franchise into the ground? The movie never should have been turned into a franchise. TAKEN was a one and done movie, that story is completely wrapped up at the end of that the movie. There was no logical place to take Bryan Mills from there. I know they came up with the lame revenge story for TAKEN 2, but that movie was lame. The sequels have only ruined a great action movie by watering down it's effect.
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10:15AM on 01/09/2015

Neeson is the modern-day Charles Bronson

Seeing this tomorrow. I liked the second better than the first, so here's hoping.
Seeing this tomorrow. I liked the second better than the first, so here's hoping.
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+2
7:50AM on 01/09/2015
I saw Taken 3 last night, and it was WAY better than this review gives it credit for. I'd personally give it a 6.5 out of 10. It was way better than the 2nd one, and it even rivals the 1st movie in a lot of ways. A 3 out of 10 is ridiculous, Bumbray is just trying to get clicks.
I saw Taken 3 last night, and it was WAY better than this review gives it credit for. I'd personally give it a 6.5 out of 10. It was way better than the 2nd one, and it even rivals the 1st movie in a lot of ways. A 3 out of 10 is ridiculous, Bumbray is just trying to get clicks.
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8:11AM on 01/09/2015
maybe you are right, the critics on this website tend to be very harsh when they do not like a movie and too generous when they like one : 8/10 - 9/10 ! in my books, i put vrarely a 8/10 and almost never 9/10 (in 2014 only once). But that's my way of rating and everyone has his own...
I was going to Watch this movie anyway, your post gives me some hope, it is at 7.4/10 on imdb for more than 3500 voters. even if it is melting fast...
I hope it is not that bad...
maybe you are right, the critics on this website tend to be very harsh when they do not like a movie and too generous when they like one : 8/10 - 9/10 ! in my books, i put vrarely a 8/10 and almost never 9/10 (in 2014 only once). But that's my way of rating and everyone has his own...
I was going to Watch this movie anyway, your post gives me some hope, it is at 7.4/10 on imdb for more than 3500 voters. even if it is melting fast...
I hope it is not that bad...
7:20AM on 01/09/2015
I was expecting 5/10 but 3? Jeez!
I was expecting 5/10 but 3? Jeez!
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11:28AM on 01/09/2015
Bumbray is an idiot, go and see the movie for yourself.
Bumbray is an idiot, go and see the movie for yourself.
5:28AM on 01/09/2015

what a shame...


Merci Luc Besson and Olivier Megaton for ruinning such a good first movie....

Merci Luc Besson and Olivier Megaton for ruinning such a good first movie....
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7:21AM on 01/09/2015
I really wish Luc Besson to go back to his gritty action root - a la "La Femme Nikita".
I really wish Luc Besson to go back to his gritty action root - a la "La Femme Nikita".
8:03AM on 01/09/2015
100% agree
100% agree
4:47AM on 01/09/2015
I actually liked the sequel. Is this one really so bad as to give it a 3? I guess I'll judge for myself.
I actually liked the sequel. Is this one really so bad as to give it a 3? I guess I'll judge for myself.
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1:29AM on 01/09/2015
I don't think anyone will allow bad reviews to keep them from seeing this film. This was purely meant to cash in on the previous two highly successful films. If the film is at least a 6 in my mind, I won't feel cheated.

As for the budget, it apparently went up a few million dollars over part 2.
I don't think anyone will allow bad reviews to keep them from seeing this film. This was purely meant to cash in on the previous two highly successful films. If the film is at least a 6 in my mind, I won't feel cheated.

As for the budget, it apparently went up a few million dollars over part 2.
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1:06AM on 01/09/2015
Yeah, this wasn't great. Purely paint by numbers stuff packed with way too much shaky-cam and whiplash editing. Was really confused by the decision to re-cast Xander Berkeley's role with Dougray Scott.
Yeah, this wasn't great. Purely paint by numbers stuff packed with way too much shaky-cam and whiplash editing. Was really confused by the decision to re-cast Xander Berkeley's role with Dougray Scott.
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10:13AM on 01/09/2015
Ooh, Xander is out? I do not like muddled continuity.
Ooh, Xander is out? I do not like muddled continuity.
7:56PM on 01/09/2015
theFUZZ008 yeah, I'm not sure why it was the case, but Xander Berkeley was replaced with Dougray Scott and the Stuart character was given a bigger part in the story, too.
theFUZZ008 yeah, I'm not sure why it was the case, but Xander Berkeley was replaced with Dougray Scott and the Stuart character was given a bigger part in the story, too.
12:48AM on 01/09/2015
How is it no one involved thought to have the guy from Seven or uncle rico "taken" and they had to get the band back together to get him back. They were the only interesting thing from the first one I had any interest in exploring further in that universe. Sad, I'd have really liked to see Uncle Rico in black ops mode.
How is it no one involved thought to have the guy from Seven or uncle rico "taken" and they had to get the band back together to get him back. They were the only interesting thing from the first one I had any interest in exploring further in that universe. Sad, I'd have really liked to see Uncle Rico in black ops mode.
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12:36AM on 01/09/2015
You can tell from the preview and the director that this was going to be bad.
You can tell from the preview and the director that this was going to be bad.
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12:20AM on 01/09/2015
It's weird to see so many people obsessed with this franchise. The first one was fun enough, but isn't it just a tiny bit creepy that EVERY one of these movies has revolved around 'fridging' one of the female characters in order to motivate Neeson's character? It's such a shame too, because Famke Jannsen and Maggie Grace certainly have the acting chops for more significant roles than the damsel in distress, but the folks behind the Taken movies don't seem interested in that whatsoever. Too bad.
It's weird to see so many people obsessed with this franchise. The first one was fun enough, but isn't it just a tiny bit creepy that EVERY one of these movies has revolved around 'fridging' one of the female characters in order to motivate Neeson's character? It's such a shame too, because Famke Jannsen and Maggie Grace certainly have the acting chops for more significant roles than the damsel in distress, but the folks behind the Taken movies don't seem interested in that whatsoever. Too bad.
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12:18AM on 01/09/2015
I still don't know why that douchey-named director keeps getting work. I've never ever heard anyone praise his work. He is the bane of all action movies.
I still don't know why that douchey-named director keeps getting work. I've never ever heard anyone praise his work. He is the bane of all action movies.
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11:49PM on 01/08/2015
Too bad about the low score. But despite the low score, it's still fun to see Neeson kick ass and take names. But again, I thought the original film was good as a one and done.
Too bad about the low score. But despite the low score, it's still fun to see Neeson kick ass and take names. But again, I thought the original film was good as a one and done.
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