Taken 3

WRITTEN BY: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
DIRECTED BY: Olivier Megaton
STARRING: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott
RATING: 1.5 stars

Former government operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is living a normal life when he is accused of murdering his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). Knowing that it does not look good for him, Mills dodges police as he investigates who is truly responsible.

Perhaps no one is technically "taken" in the sense of a kidnapping this time, but Lenore's life is taken and so is Bryan's reputation. The premise is actually quite good, and I had hoped that the inclusion of Forest Whitaker as the inspector hunting down Mills would add a spark to the third instalment, but the delivery was painfully slow, boring and unsatisfying. Everything about the plot, which was really not that complicated, was over-explained to the audience and that brought the run time too close to two hours. The action scenes were also routine and lacked intrigue, and there was too much mushiness between the protagonists. 

Poor Maggie Grace continues to play a two-dimensional character as Mills' daughter, despite an attempt from writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen to give her a sub-plot that was supposed to make viewers care more about her - it failed. Whitaker's character was equally bland but Dougray Scott was slightly better as Lenore's grieving second husband. Unfortunately, the entire cast of Russian villains were embarrassing caricatures. If it were not for Neeson's tough guy charm, this film would have been a total mess.

I loved the original film and the second film was at least hilarious in its ridiculousness. But this third - and hopefully final - instalment was tedious. If you really want to see Taken 3, I would recommend waiting for the DVD release.