Monday, January 19, 2015

[Review] Taken 3

Another year, another Taken movie. The poster's tag line says "It Ends Here" but that's probably a lie.

With such Neesian fare, you figure it's best to cut to the chase right away, but it isn't until after 20 minutes of banal setup, when Bryan (Neeson) arrives home to find his murdered ex-wife. And not only that, but he's also been framed as a suspect. He barely has time to process things before he's getting hunted down by police and cardboard men. What follows is a run-thru of typical stock and semi-suspense. Car tires screech across the highways, explosions explode, and there's a lot of talking on the phone.

The extreme quick cuts don't lend to the action sequences, and instead--they just give the film a patchy look of incoherence that might even provoke some eye strain. Forrest Whitaker takes role as a homicide investigator, and he never appears like he gives a damn about anything. It's almost as if he was in a hurry to finish up his scenes and get out of there. Everything in here is just so forgettable and underwhelming--a big blur of "we've seen all this before... and better." You'd get much more satisfaction out of any of the multiple police drama shows on network television.

Even last year's Non-Stop provided considerably more thrills and intrigue than Taken 3. This laborious flop is a sure indicator for Neeson to finally leave this franchise in the dust. Yes, this type of thing is his niche, but that doesn't mean he can't utilize his particular set of skills to better extent in quality. Here's hoping we'll eventually see more Neeson films like The Grey and last year's A Walk Among The Tombstones. Or even better--the "how has this not happened yet?" collaboration with Denzel Washington as The Equalizer, and maybe throw in John Wick for good measure.


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