Taken3…a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

January 7, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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I did wonder if it mattered that I had not seen Taken or Taken2. But since it’s an action thriller, I decided Taken3 can be viewed as on its own merits.

If you discount the gun shootouts and breathtaking car chases, Taken 3 is a story about parental love. The love Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has for his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) gives him powerful motivation for everything that he does.

Bryan lives in Los Angeles where he is still friends with his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). He is close to Kim and on reasonably good terms with Lenore’s husband, Stuart St. John (Dougray Scott).

It takes its time with the set-up, but once there is a murder, the movie really takes off.

When his ex-wife turns up dead in his apartment, Bryan does a runner. It transpires that he is a retired covert operative and his escape hatch – literally in this case – was always in place. When he gets chased by police sent to pick him up, we quickly get an idea of just how experienced and tough he is.

 

On the run, he assembles a team from his previous life to help solve the murder, protect his daughter and prove his innocence. They were tough guys too. Though not perhaps, as tough as Bryan. He is a warrior and could make a younger man look like a wimp.

 

We know from the outset that the Russian Mob is involved, so things are likely to get nasty. As befitting the Los Angeles setting, there are car chases, which are thrilling and really well staged. Frequent aerial shots of Los Angeles highlight the spread of its many freeways and provide counterpoint to the ground action.

In charge of the case and chase is Detective Frank Dotzler (Forest Whitaker), who is smart enough to appreciate just how tricky it will be to capture Bryan and how he might have been set up for the murder.

Led by Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell), the baddies are convincing – and the musical score is well matched to the pace of the action.

If you have seen all the summer art movies, this “boy” one provides a change of pace – and that goes for the “girls” too. After all, it does have Liam Neeson – still a contender as a thinking woman’s heartthrob- and he is in good shape here. It’s all highly improbable but quite satisfying.

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3/5 Released January 8 2015

Starring Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott

Directed by Olivier Megaton

Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen

 

 

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