Movie Review: Taken 3

If you’ve seen Taken and Taken 2, you’d probably be asking yourself, “Is there even anything left to take (or rather snatch and kidnap) from Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson)?” Surprisingly, yes.


After wild goose chases across Europe from France (Taken) to Turkey (Taken 2), Bryan Mills is finally home in Los Angeles but faced with a new, unexpected adversary that threatens the safety of his only daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace).

The film, directed by Olivier Megaton, begins with the massacre of a Russian gang, leaving a bloody trail of bodies in its wake.

Cut to Mills, who receives an unannounced visit from his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). They attempt to rebuild their relationship. It’s too late to make amends, however, because Mills finds Lenore murdered in his apartment a couple of days later.


As if having his ex-wife murdered wasn’t enough, Mills is cited to be the main murder suspect. In order to hunt the real murderers, he goes on the run from Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Inspector Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker). When Dotzler isn’t fiddling with a white knight chess piece or snapping the rubber band on his wrist, he’s strangely eating bagels found at the crime scene.

Throughout the film, we see the usual car chases and gunshots, but producers Luc Besson and Michael Mandaville, really pulled out the big guns for this one – literally. After 2 movies, they’ve finally understood that an upgrade is in order – in the form of more powerful ammunition for the bad guys, and a hardier vehicle for Mills. Not just any car will do for the ex-CIA agent. Mills drives a Porsche 996 that’s miraculously scratch-free, despite crashing into a metal gate and an airplane.

As for firearms, the Russian mob carried rifles while Mills had a modest handgun instead. How’s that even logical? We couldn’t decide if the cops either had terrible aim or no idea what they were doing because no matter how they fired, Mills wasn’t even hit once.


As if there was no end to the illogical segments in the film, the only injury Mills sustained throughout the entire 109 minutes was a gunshot in his leg that left him limping for a couple of scenes. But our leading man somehow recovers quickly enough to drive and chase the bad guys.

Interestingly, Neeson promises to reprise his role as Mills “only as long as nobody gets Taken” Indeed,  there were several twists to the usual Taken formula, such as Lenore being kidnapped then murdered, compared to the predictable kidnapping only.

On its release day, Taken 3 brought in a whopping $18.4 millon at the US box office. Clearly audiences everywhere did not question the logic of the series, or perhaps they simply wanted to see Neeson reprise his role for the final time.

Head-scratching lack of logic aside, Taken 3 passes off as an action-packed yet bumpy ride, unless you scrutinize the details. For the last time, we watch our beloved Neeson retire his action hero status which we have come to cherish post-Star Wars days but we do know this won’t be the last we see of him.



Rating: 3/5

Release Date: 8 January 2015

Runtime: 109 Minutes

Language: English

Censorship rating: PG-13

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Director: Olivier Megaton

Cast: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

Photos courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox