…Will April Fools ever not be insane on here?!
Hello, Spongey here.
With that month of horror done, I think it’s time we go back to mediocrity. And what better way to do that than with the Taken franchise?
Ah yes, Taken. The Liam Neeson action I reviewed in 2014, and said was perfectly enjoyable. It didn’t need a sequel but it got one that I reviewed last year. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very mediocre.
It just did a lot of the same stuff and wasn’t as fresh the next time around. In spite of weak reviews, it made enough money for them to make this a trilogy in 2015. It was the first released in that year, which as you all know turned out well for Texas Chainsaw 3D and Legend of Hercules!
Before I continue..
PREVIOUS ON TAKEN: People keep fucking with Liam Neeson and keep getting their asses kicked. First they took his daughter, then they took him. That’s…about it.
Now, against all odds, there is perhaps some potential in an another film, to wrap things up nicely. This does have a sort of new plot unlike the previous entry. …But it looks like it didn’t pan out that way, as it got worse reviews with a mere 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes despite decent-ish Box Office.
The reviews are pretty harsh on this one, which does not give me much confidence.. It did get left off some worst of 2015 lists because they were too busy saying Pixels is worse than it actually was.
But hey, if I learned one thing last month is that when I hype something up to be the worst thing ever, I am always disappointed. So I will fully expect something mediocre and go from there.
The creative team is the same as it always has been That guy who brought us Taken 2 comes back, along with it’s writers who also have brought us works such as Brick Mansions. Anything could happen with this one, so let’s go in.
Can this surprise me be and a solid end to the trilogy, or will I find it , and kill it? Guess it’s time to find out.
This, is Taken 3
..Or Tak3n as some pieces called it. Because they wanted to prove they can come up with a dumber name than Fant4stic.
The movie opens with some guy looking with his checkbook, when some guy with a gun shows up and kidnaps him. Well, someone has been Taken, just no one I care about.
He is taken to some foreign guy who asks for the combination to some safe. The money he wants is not in there, so he kills him. So in other words, generic bad guys do generic bad guy things. Got it.
After the opening credits, we are reintroduced to Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson who is not killing anyone, but buying a big stuffed panda for his daughter. Then it cuts to her trying out a pregnancy test.
…Bit of a mood whiplash there.
Bryan shows up and they seem to get along a lot better than before. But she does have another interchange boyfriend that Bryan hates.
“Kim’s always talking about how predictable I am”
After the 2nd movie, I can’t imagine why!
On an awkward note, he leaves. Now he’s angsty about her growing up even the scene seemingly went fine before it ended. His ever bitch-y ex-wife calls and she seems kind of pleasant this time.
But I was proven wrong before, so we’ll see.
She shows up at home later as we find out Lenore is having trouble with her husband. Maybe if you hooked back up with Bryan like these movies keep teasing…
Speaking of teasing, they do just that in this scene. They even kiss! I’m not sure what this will mean for the rest of the film, but I am sure Bryan is very much under-reacting to this. He’s like “aw shucks’.
So once again a scene ends very awkwardly. The next day, Bryan meets up with Kim, with her planning to talk about the possibility of a baby but some crap she sees in the background causes her to change the subject. How very wacky for a movie like this.
She changes to subject to getting a puppy, which Bryan really isn’t sure about. If he reacts like this to his grown daughter having a puppy, maybe it’s wise to not mention a baby. After another awkward scene that won’t add to much, Bryan talk to Lenore’s husband about their problems.
Stuart basically says that there is something between Bryan and Lenore, and they can’t have that. After 3 movies, I just simply can’t care about most of this shit. I know they are trying and we need a human element, but it gets so tiring after a while.
Bryan agrees because even he doesn’t want a big shouting match. Not long after, Lenore conveniently calls him and invites him to breakfast. He heads to her house but only finds her lifeless body.
….Ouch. …Figures this would happen after she STOPPED being a bitch.
As if this can’t more awkward, the police come on and think he is connected to it.. Wah wah. There’s plenty of reasons this doesn’t/won’t make sense but let’s humor them. They refuse to even listen to him, but I can’t blame them since he attacks them right after to escape.
Yeah, that will convince them you aren’t a bad guy.
We are treated to a badly edit chase scene that refuses to hold on a shot for more than 2 seconds, if that. At least Bryan manages to escape threw the sewers. So that is our premise, Liam Neeson is basically in The Fugitive.
That’s not too bad of a premise I suppose, but it only happens here because Bryan had to be an idiot and attack them. But let’s see how it plays out.
He finds a payphone and calls Kim, which is the best thing to do when you’re on the run from police. He tells her the bad news and then hangs up. I’m sure she had no questions about this quaint situation anyway,
Back at home, we meet L.A.P.D Inspector Frank Dotzler, played by Forrest Whitaker. He’s taking care of this case and will likely be our back up villain until Bryan’s name is cleared. He starts doing some investigating, which means interviewing Lenore’s husband.
We don’t see much of his reaction to his wife dying,by the way. Kim we see a bit more of as she is here crying and saying that Bryan didn’t do it. It just hit me that no one has been taken so far…unless you count Lenore’s life, I guess.
Of course my comment about Stuart is followed by him crying, just to prove me wrong. He talks to Frank about all of this.
“Bryan is not dangerous”
Tell it to all those people he’s killed in the first two movies.
Bryan goes to the morgue and looks at Lenore’s body. …Please don’t take the turn I think you are taking. Thankfully, he just takes some thing he needs and gives us another “sad” scene. Honestly, I never cared about that character enough for this to mean anything.
Also, that place has shit security especially with her possible killer being on the loose. The police people are pretty sure Bryan did it, even after they do research on him and want to keep an eye on Kim since they were so close.
The research they do on him does sound oddly suspicious, not sure if it was established or they made it up here to be as contrived as possible.
After some snooping, Bryan retraces Lenore’s travels to a gas station.
“What the hell were you doing all the way out there?”
…Getting gas? That’s a possibility.
He goes there and thankfully no one there watches the news. He is able to check the security cameras and sees her being kidnapped. …Taken, if you will!
Unfortunately for him, something smart happens as some police guys followed his trail here. That’s good, because he has some footage that can prove his innocence! …Oh, he doesn’t show it to them?
They don’t even look at what he’s looking at? Of course, can’t let logic rule for too long.
The police show up with impeccable timing and take Bryan but of course he fights back. Kind of ruins the point of letting yourself be captured instead of escape AND it once again only incriminates you further!
After another badly edited action scene where I can barely see a damn thing, Bryan successfully hijacks the car. If he is proven innocent for Lenore’s death, hes’ still sure to be arrested for this crap.
Of course the police go after him and after he escapes, he has a chat with Frank on the phone. He pleads innocent but Frank says it’s up to the court to decide. Again, with what he has done, I’m kind of on their side.
He gets them to watch the security footage showing Lenore being kidnapped. Well, he did it eventually, so I’ll give them that. Bryan visits a buddy of his to have him analyze some possible clues, and then we cut to Lenore’s funeral.
Oh yeah, someone died. Almost forgot that, at least the film can mourn her now. Even if it’s only for a bit as this is mostly used as a set piece to move the plot forward. After that, Kim has a discussion with Stuart and she doesn’t care for him for pretty much no reason.
It’s just an excuse for her to be whine-y again, I guess, She makes a stop to get some yogurt and it has a label saying “Drink Me now”
That’s not suspicious at all.
Because she’s stupid, she drinks it and heads to school even though she’s obviously 32. She starts to feel nauseous and hits the bathroom where Bryan is waitng for her.
“I put something in the Yogurt to make you nausous”
….There has to have been easier ways to get her to talk to you. ….So many that this plan was kind of incredibly stupid. The fact that you got the label on there and she didn’t’ question is the least of the problems with this!
Also, the LAPD people have been keeping an eye on her even though she’s not that suspicious from POV and they are lucky she does have a connection with Bryan now.
…Not the best time.
“This cop is really smart. Anything unusual and he becomes suspicious”
You mean like her getting sick after drinking Yogurt?
The cops pop up and Bryan runs away doing more things that incriminate him. They pull Kim aside and try to get information out of her and she gives them nothing, so they just let her leave. That added a lot.
Bryan drives off but his bad guys peruse him and Bryan naturally survives the crash they cause. Because he’s just invincible at this point. They think he’s dead because they don’t bother to check, leaving Bryan room to hijack a car so he can follow the bad guys.
Okay, my suspenseful of disbelief only goes far. I guess this is almost the point of this kind of movie, but he’s doing so many bad things he’s going to jail regardless if his innocent in the Lenore case.
Trust me, if this film took place in reality the ending would be very bittersweet.
The bad guys stop at a liquor store, where a shootout ensues, Of course, the place is empty and the counter lady has just vanished. He takes care of them and asks one guy who they work for.
“I’d rather die then tell you’
So he kills himself. …Well, he’s truthful, I’ll give them that. A bit much though.
Next, Bryan kidnaps Stuart just to to add his long list of misdeeds. To be fair, he now has some reason to suspect Stuart is evil due to some minor things, so maybe he’s justified in kidnapping and torturing him.
Eventually, Stuart finally confess that this mess is all his fault. He owes this Russian guy money and his failure to get the money resulted in him bumping off Lenore. He didn’t tell the police all of this because he was angry at Bryan.
Well, now we know that Stuart is supposed to be a shitbag. We also know that Bryan is in this entire situation because some guy was pissy about him seeing his ex. Riveting.
The bad guys are after Bryan because Staurt told them he would “find them and kill them”. Knowing Bryan, he will so he ain’t lying. Bryan suspects they will be after Kim so he picks up her, doing more bad things to the police in the process.
They take her to a hideout where they figure they must kill the big Russian bad guy to end all this. Also, Kim sums up how dumb this is all is:
“My Mom is Dead because of one of your shitty business deals?”
Stuart calls the big bad guy and says he has the money and sets up a meeting place, so they can get him. Long story short, Bryan makes it into the bad guys’ place so we can have more badly edited action where I can’t make out anything.
The shootout with him and the big bad is a bit better. Bryan eventually defeats him, which hopefully means we’re almost done here. Unless they pull out a dumb twist just to make the movie longer.
“We are fucked by the same man”
“Stuart St Jon. First he gets me to kill your wife, then you. And when that doesn’t work, he pushed you to kill me’
Dun dun dun, what a twist! Of course we’ll have to wait for Stuart to confirm this, but I can buy that they would pull this kind of twist. I didn’t see it coming, which likely just make me stupid. But honestly, I don’t care at this point so this just seems like padding to me.
Since Bryan now knows the truth, Stuart kills Bryan’s random friend we barely knew. I know you care so deeply about this. Right there, the cops show having traced Stuart’s GPS. I’m not sure if he knew they could do that so I’ll let that bit slide.
Stuart takes Kim (she’s really being with being taken, isn’t she?) and intends to leave on a plan with some money or something. At least he’s not monologue-ing, he had someone else do that for him!
Frank calls Bryan and says they figured out Stuart’s whole scheme and now knows Bryan is innocent. That was quick, but now they must arrest Bryan for all the other crap he did in the movie.
Stuart gets on the plane but they take it out through means that I don’t care about but are likely stupid. Thus we get a final standoff between Liam Nesson and a guy who took his taught. Some could call this going full circle, I call it lazy rehashing.
This standoff amounts to Bryan shooting him once so he can’t move and Bryan can ramble about Stuart’s plan so he doesn’t have to. Lame!
Bryan considers killing him but Kim objects. Come on, he’s killed so many people in this film by accident that one more won’t be too bad. He’s going to jail anyway. Well ,he would in reailty as I stated.
“With a good lawyer, you’ll get out of jail in a few years”
He’ll need amazing lawyers to get his sentence that short for what he did.
“And then I’ll come for you. I’ll find you. And we both know what’s going to happen here”
Haw haw, Callback. But wait, it’s okay to kill him when he’s out of jail and has done his time, but not right after he did all this crap?
With that, the police come for Stuart. That was a pretty lame climax given all the build up. Especially if the series ends here. We cut to Bryan talking to Frank, as he claims he knew of Bryan’s innocent.
Yeah, I’m sure you did.
“You didn’t help us out by escaping”
EXACTLY! He even says Bryan could be arrested for downloading some police stuff, but he doesn’t because…..plot. Pointing out your plot holes only makes them bigger, guys.
So as is customary with this series, we must end on a cheesy scene with the family, this time just minus the dead person. He’s totally fine with her having a kid with her boyfriend. I’m so glad that amazing arc we saw all of was resolved.
“if it’s a girl, I’d like to name it after mom”
That’s both sweet and creepy.
The end. Can’t say I expected a good wrapup after that climax,. At least this series is finally over.
Yeah, this was pretty mediocre. I don’t know if I would call it worse than 2 but it has more problems in a way. The plot was mostly new and thus held my attention a lot more on concept.
But with the execution, it’s even more disappointing. As hard as they try, I just don’t care anymore. The family dynamic is surprisingly underdeveloped this time, since more time is focus on Bryan reenacting The Fugitive.
Once Lenore is killed, we don’t get too much mourning as her death was just a plot device. How respectful to those who care about the character. The whole pregancy thing is brought up only a few times and barely developed at all.
With how things were set up before, I’m surprised they cared so little about character here. It’s not too shocking for a modern action film to have the plot just move on to the next action scene but this was still pretty weak.
The story had a few chances to be more interesting like with Forrest Whitaker’s charecters but it doesn’t take them and they end up being pointless by the end. The biggest dissapoiment in this is in the action scenes.
The editing is choppy, and it keeps cutting so much that I can’t appreciate any of the hard work that likely went into them. They aren’t exactly impressive in concept, but being able to see them would be nice.
The sequence of events do tend to make sense, so it’s far from the worst, but the action scenes are still very weak. And when the whole film is based on action and suspense, that’s a bad thing.
I simply didn’t care because this is the third film and they haven’t proven that these sequels have a reason to exist. The first film was no masterpiece, but there was something there that these films just lack.
There are some cool moments and Liam Neeson is still good, but overall this is just another pointless sequel that you can skip. Like the 2nd one, it’s not bad but it’s just really mediocre and not worth watching.
Here’s hoping there’s no Taken 4 to prove that Bryan is kind of terrible at protecting his loved ones.
Next time, we do something I surprisingly haven’t done before. At least, not something in this medium.