Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) hopes to retire in Taken 3.

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) hopes to retire in Taken 3.

Reel Reviews: Neeson, and film viewers, get ‘Taken’ in for a third time

File Taken 3, starring Liam Neeson, under contractual obligation.

  • Jan. 18, 2015 9:00 a.m.

In Taken 3 retired secret agent Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) has been accused of killing his own ex-wife and is now on the run from both the federal agents who want to arrest him as well as the true killers, wishing to keep him quiet.

We say, “File this film under contractual obligation.”

TAYLOR: Everyone’s favourite rambunctious retiree is back. Liam Neeson was 60 three years ago when we reviewed Taken 2. I was really tempted to just copy and paste the review for Taken 2 in place of a review for the ingeniously titled Taken 3, which, by the way, features no one being taken.

The films are extremely similar, both simultaneously frantic and lazy. I thought that perhaps my dislike for Taken 2 was the result of an editing style, but it turns out that Taken 2 and Taken 3 were edited by two different parties (it took teams of editors to put together each of these films), so we must lay the blame solely at director Olivier Megaton’s feet.

I want quality not quantity.

HOWE: Oh dear, poor Mr. Mills. Like us, he doesn’t seem to have any luck. His bad luck comes in the form of having his family messed with, then getting chased, shot at and beaten up. Our bad luck is that we have to sit through another hour-and-a-half turkey.

I don’t get this movie. I could if it had continued on from where Taken 2 had left off, but this could be a stand alone movie, just give it another title. They should have left the second film as the final part, not mess around trying to get another payday out the dying franchise.

TAYLOR: I don’t think people go to Taken movies for anything other than tension and action. It used to be that filmmakers would point a camera at actors in a scene and they would act, creating tension. If a fight was required, stunt performers would be used and editing tricks would make it look like they were hitting each other. Nowadays, at least with Mr. Megaton at the helm, you ask the actor to stand with his fist in the air and you vibrate the camera past him. Once you have about 7,000 tiny bits of shaky film, you edit them together as quickly as you can, to loud music and voilà, c’est un magnifique film d’action!

There were times in this film where I stopped watching, stopped caring and simply marvelled at how many edits there were, shots, angles. It has to be a record. Somebody needs to stop Megaton!

HOWE: I was getting a little nauseous at all the shaking around. I found that the film couldn’t keep up with the action, it was so blurred. I’m just thankful that I had my glasses on, otherwise, I may have missed nearly all the movie, maybe that would have been a blessing.

– Taylor gives Taken 3 1 raison d’être out of 5.

– Howe gives it 1.5 chess piece that I have no idea means in the movie out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.