Dave’s 3-Word Review:
AKA The Fugitive.
‘The Preventor’ himself, Bryan Mills is back in action in Taken 3, a movie that no one can comprehend of its existence! Say what you will about the series, I like it. It’s completely unnecessary, only insists on being a trilogy to be a trilogy, and is just a form of getting more and more money. I totally understand and agree to all of that, but why not have fun watching it in the process? Liam Neeson is so weird as an action star when you think about it – all 9 feet of him (or so it appears) karate-chopping bad guys left and right. Why not, right? As expected, there were things I did and did not like about the third and final film in the trilogy…so let’s talk about it.
This time around, the thing that is taken from him wasn’t his daughter, but instead – his ex-wife. By taken, I mean (SPOILERS) killed. There’s no way around it, that’s the main foundation of the plot – but as soon as he discovers her murder, he is immediately framed for it. So he does what any good ex-husband and father does – he strikes the police officers attempting arrest, and goes on the run in order to find and stop his wife’s murderer.
What I liked about the third movie should be obvious, thanks to the second movie. It simply wasn’t the same plot. The second movie in the series was more or less just a big re-hashing of the first movie with just a little more action…but I mean – his daughter was taken again, by similar people, and he had to get her back. Both movies took place in different countries with terrorists and really bad men – this was grounded in the United States and it was mostly Liam Neeson on the run…it was unique in the sense that this is a Taken movie that feels more or less like The Fugitive…which is what I didn’t like about it.
Yes, I liked that they changed up the plot. I didn’t like how that meant turning into a re-imagining of Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive. Liam Neeson was Harrison Ford and Forest Whitaker was Tommy Lee Jones. The only thing that was a little different was Bryan Mill’s character. While Harrison Ford played an innocent doctor using his intellect to solely look into his wife’s murder – Bryan Mills used his particular set of skills. BUT, even so – this has to be the least action-oriented Taken film.
I’m not entirely sure if they wanted to flow a little more heart and soul into the story, but there wasn’t a lot of action…certainly not as much as you’d come to expect from the series, and as a franchise ender, you’d think it needed a bit more. It’s not a huge issue, but the heart and soul of the film, while there, wasn’t strong enough to ultimately carry it and it left me a little dissatisfied. Instead, I want to watch The Fugitive because I know that’s basically the same story, just better.
It’s good to see a series that never deserved to be a series come to an end – and to be perfectly fair, some franchises are basically torture to watch, and it is very possible to watch this and have fun at the same time. No expectations or nitpicking, and you might actually enjoy it.
The story was just ripping off of The Fugitive. So much so that you’d do much better just watching the other movie because that’s more entertaining.