TAKEN 3 | MOVIE REVIEW

In typical Kernel John fashion, if he dislikes a movie he makes a nice comedic read of the review, and so he does with this tired piece of rubbish with the occasional action beat up from the master Qui-Gon Jin aka Bryan Mills aka Liam Neeson. A franchise that was brilliant as a first film – an older gentleman’s Bourne with an action hero that says fuck rules, you a bad guy, you going to die that way, you mess with my daughter, you dead, the end. The first TAKEN made so much money that bean counters would have been stupid not to make a sequel, but screw making anything original, worked the first time, why put in effort, carbon copy that shit, people are mostly sheep and will see it – “and make sure he does lots of threat scenes on the telephone” haha. Well regardless of how crappy the second one was it still made a squillion bucks and because of that here is TAK3N – aka TAKEN 3. Enjoy Kernel John’s review – TAEKN 3 is out now at all commercial cinemas, it is rated M and runs for 109mins. All the best………….JK.

 

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TAKEN 3 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BRYAN MILLS (LIAM NEESON) ON THE MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JOHN MCPARLAND

TAKEN “Terms of Enrampagement” 3, once again sees Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills bitchslap his way across yet another country.  Not content with simply destroying large parts of Paris and Istanbul, Mills brings his trademark brand of single-minded brutality to his hometown of Los Angeles.  TAKEN “Kill, Die, Kill” 2 director Olivier Megaton, whom I just realised has the most awesome surname ever, returns once again to helm the gruesome result of some poor bastard’s idiotic decision to kidnap a member of the Mills family.

I have decided in this review to include a list of fun facts that I learnt while watching TAKEN “Realism Be Damned” 3 that have little basis in reality.  Fun fact #1: guns are remarkably effective stabbing implements.  I mean hell, why shoot someone when you can just jab at them annoyingly?

Except that in this, the latest Tinseltown “geriaction” film, no one is taken at all, which was a little deceptive, what with the title being TAKEN and all.  I mean, it is hard to misinterpret that word to represent anything else, unless they meant it as “infatuation” which is just crazy talk.  The film stars Liam Neeson!  The closest that man has come to acting as a love struck idealist was probably in LOVE ACTUALLY, as a recent widower mourning his dead wife.  See, even in romantic movies he plays the hard done by character.

 

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TAKEN 3 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BRYAN MILLS (LIAM NEESON) TELLING HIS IDIOT DAUGHTER, KIM (MAGGIE GRACE), OFF FOR GETTING IN TROUBLE YET AGAIN

 

Fun fact #2: shipping cargo containers happily flip the bird at the laws of physics.

This was Neeson’s prerequisite for signing onto the project.  He wanted to move away from the kidnapping aspect of the previous two films, because he is apparently not a fan of plot continuity or box office success.

Fun fact #3: concrete can explode.

Instead, Mills’s ex-wife Lenore St. John, played by Famke Janssen (X-MEN), is murdered with Mills being framed for the deed.  On the run from the authorities, Mills vows to rain unholy brutality down on the perpetrator, under the guise of protecting his little girl from the same fate.

Fun fact #4: slicing someone’s jugular results in instantaneous death and no blood loss whatsoever.

So, who are the dastardly fiends that dare poke the sleeping dragon that is Bryan Mills?  Are they the Albanian traffickers from the previous films, or perhaps members of the assassinated sheikh-with-a-taste-for-virgin-flesh’s family from the end of TAKEN “Get Your Murder On” 1?  Are they members of a joint coalition of surviving French and Turkish civilians who suffered a familial loss as innocent bystanders from Mills’s previous rampages?  Or, as the adverts would have us believe, is it some other entity from Mills’s secret CIA past come to exact their murderous toll in retaliation for days gone by?

 

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TAKEN 3 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BRYAN MILLS (LIAM NEESON) TRYING TO FIND A DIRECTION FOR TAKEN 4

 

Fun fact #5: cars pointlessly burst into excessive flames at the drop of a hat, except for all of the times they probably should, when they stubbornly stay unexploded and roadworthy.

Apparently, it is none of the above!  In true Hollywood fashion, the film’s trailer lies shamelessly to everyone, selling us a tale that does not exist.  The bad guys have nothing to do with any aspect of the previous films and only the vaguest, most tangential connection to Mills at all.  Yay for plot stability!

Fun fact #6: the entire LAPD database can be downloaded from a cop car’s access tablet onto what appears to be a frightfully LED bedazzled SD card without the slightest difficulty.

The film’s story is weak and stupid; an incredibly poor progression from its predecessors.  It follows a very straightforward and plodding path of revenge with no shocks or surprises at all.  The film’s final “twist” and big reveal was obvious from about 15 minutes in and will come as no surprise to anyone.

 

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TAKEN 3 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BRYAN MILLS (LIAM NEESON) MURDERING A FRANCHISE

 

Fun fact #7: there is absolutely no traffic on the way to the airport.  None.  At all.

Neeson’s performance is below par.  At 62 years of age, he struggles to move as fluidly as you would expect for an action film’s star.  This is hardly his fault of course, but many of the fight scenes felt slow and ponderous.  Forest Whitaker’s (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) character Inspector Frank Dotzler is the toothless officer tasked with apprehending Mills for St. John’s murder.  Dotzler is constantly seen twiddling a chess piece in, I assume, a feeble attempt to represent his vast intellect.  Despite all his smarts and the numerous times he comes within spitting distance of Mills, Dotzler never catches his man and does not seem to have any real power or presence in the movie, acting as an inadequate adversary to an already deficient hero.

Fun fact #8: fatal gunshot wounds to the chest bleed hardly at all.

The action scenes themselves and cinematography were both very ordinary.  Average fight choreography and over the top explosions mixed with shaky camerawork and highly irritating rapid scene changes made for an in exceedingly frustrating and confusing viewing experience.

 

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TAKEN 3 | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BRYAN MILLS (LIAM NEESON) TAKING ON THE WORLD

 

Fun fact #9: the Porsche 996 is idiotically fast and apparently indestructible, no matter how many reinforced gates or aircraft you crash into.

In the end TAKEN “Wait until the DVD” 3 is a perfect example of a sequel that should never have been made.  Like the final season of CHARMED, the STAR WARS prequels, and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, directors and distributors alike need to learn when to just leave a good thing well enough alone.  Fans may appreciate the few self-referencing in-jokes smattered throughout the film, but doubtlessly little else.  Riddled with clichés and the most stereotypical of villains, the only thing TAKEN about this film is the ride that audience members will be taken on if expecting this supposedly final installment to be anything like the greater films it has followed.

Fun fact #10: no matter the staggering number of murders and other crimes committed by Bryan Mills, he seems shockingly immune from prosecution and incarceration.

 

2 and a Half Pops

 

 

 

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