By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: #Taken3 is already up for worst movie of 2015. Between stilted dialogue, a laughable villain & embarrassing performances, this is more comedy than thriller.
The Gist: Liam Neeson jumps back into the character of ex-government operative Bryan Mills who is accused of murdering his wife. While the cops are on his tail, he’s on the hunt for the real murderer who might be going after his daughter… again!
What Works: The action scenes are the most engaging part of the film. Director and producer Olivier Megaton and Luc Besson are sound in what makes action pop on the screen, such as whizzing car chases, intense hand to hand combat scenes, but cloaked with too much preposterousness results in laughing at the movie not with it.
What Doesn’t Work: Taken 3 is a bad movie. The question I keep asking myself is if the low-level of excellence was deliberate? Did Megaton and Besson intentionally make a lousy film? I’ve seen all 3 Taken films and its success is mostly derived from its campiness. But even campiness has its limits and this second sequel just plowed right through that. It is the epitome of “camp” gone wrong. From the obtuse, dense, brain-dead dialogue to the shockingly absurd and laughable Dumb and Dumber Lloyd-looking villain in his tighty-whities to the questionable acting of the cast, Taken 3 does not live up to the original film’s magic.
Pay or Nay? Nay. I understand that for some moviegoers the appeal of the Taken franchise is in its hokeyness, but anything in extreme is fatalistic. Megaton and Besson went too far with the camp and somehow tried to pass it off as “camp art” which for that I’m in shock. They obviously put a maximum effort into staging “really bad scenes” because since they think audiences liked it in the first two, than an excess of it in the third would be pure rapture. This is the part where too much of something is no good and Taken 3 is an indulgence of the highest order.
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language
Release Date: January 9, 2015
Screenplay: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Director(s): Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Film Genre: Action Thriller