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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Movies » Review: Taken 3 takes logic for granted

Review: Taken 3 takes logic for granted

By Paloma Sharma
January 09, 2015 16:47 IST
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Liam Neeson in Taken 3The worse thing about Taken 3 is that it hints at a sequel, says Paloma Sharma.

I loved Taken. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Taken was special for every girl who, as the cycle goes, felt the distance between her and her father, the man most of us hero-worship as children, increase.

Taken told us that no matter what happened or how much we fought, daddy was just a call away.

Then Taken 2 came along, and like a needy younger sibling, it ruined that sense of security. Taken 2 took us for granted. Taken 3 does worse.

Kim (an obviously mature Maggie Grace trying very hard to play a 20 year old) is on better terms with Bryan aka Superdad (aka Liam Neeson) but starts acting distant when she faces a pregnancy scare.

She has a steady boyfriend -- not the same one from the previous film, though -- and attends college near her stepfather's ridiculously luxurious mansion. But she can't decide whether or not she should keep the baby and can't find a way to tell her dad.

Meanwhile, Superdad is going about being his super obsessive-compulsive self and accomplishing great things like playing golf with his spy buddies or getting stuck in obviously suggestive situations with his ex-wife Lenore Mills (Famke Janssen/Dr Jean Grey) complaining to him about her current husband, Scumbag Stuart (Dougray Scott, of all people).

All this, while Superdad cuts up colourful capsicum and makes kissy faces with ex-wife.

He's not called Superdad for nothing.

All's well until Superdad comes home to find ex-wife lying murdered in his apartment and who is to be blamed for this heinous act? Gasp, gasp! The suspense just kills, no?

Bryan Mills finds himself (a fanboy in LAPD's Inspector Dotzler while) on the run from the law.

Everybody is out to get Superdad as he tries to prove his innocence and take down the guys who killed Lenore, and he must take them down fast because Kim is their next target.

Featuring path-breaking camera work that includes at least five minutes of establishing shots taken from atop cranes and shaky wide angles, Taken 3 takes logic for granted.

But it has a lot more to offer than the direct-to-DVD production quality or the death/abuse of women close to Bryan just so that the lazily written script can move forward.

Taken 3 has action!

And car chases!

One cannot help but wonder why the cast that starred in Taken would want to come back with Taken 3 and dump stale manure over their cult-status of a legacy.

The awkwardness between Janssen and Neeson is so obvious that it feels like they're two gangly, pimply 14 year olds being forced to kiss because they lost a bet to their friends. 

As much as I hate pointing out an actress' age and deeming her unfit for a role just because of it, Maggie Grace is far too old, too poised and womanly, to be playing a college girl. Take it from a real life college girl -- we DO NOT look like that.

Then there's the bad guys.

This time, after two rounds of Albanian Muslims, we have Russian gangsters.

Taken 3 has the same premise and almost the same leading cast as Taken. But here's why it goes horribly, terribly wrong:

Taken was about a father's unconditional love for his child who might have grown up but will always be his little girl, and that was sweet.

Taken 3 is about an old dude who still has the moves and will open a can of whoop ass on you if you come near his girls. Not so much about family as it is about the stroking of male ego.

What director Olivier Megaton did with this film is orchestrate the destruction of Liam Neeson's image.

Neeson represented a universally acceptable father figure to the girls of the world and Megaton turned a sweet father into a character you wish you didn't recognise anymore.

You know what's worse, though? Taken 3 hints at a sequel too.

Rediff Rating: 

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Paloma Sharma in Mumbai