Combustible Celluloid
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With: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, Al Sapienza
Written by: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language
Running Time: 109
Date: 01/09/2015

Taken 3 (2014)

2 Stars (out of 4)

'Taken' for Granted

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In Taken 3, Liam Neeson appears to have grown comfortable with the Bryan Mills character, wearing him like a broken-in old pair of shoes, but only when he's relating to other humans. When the action scenes kick in, as they do at an increasing rate, the movie becomes sludge. The movements, angles, and editing turn everything into a jumble, and poor Neeson can't do much of anything with these scenes.

Poor Bryan Mills is in trouble again. He is getting along well with his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), and is slowly rebuilding a relationship with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). Unfortunately, he receives a mysterious message from her and arrives to find her murdered, with him looking like the prime suspect. He must disappear, using his particular set of skills to find the real murderer, and all the while a clever police detective (Forest Whitaker) is on his trail. Things get worse when Bryan realizes that, in fact, Kim is in danger once again.

A nice addition to the Taken series is Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker as the wise and clever police detective Franck Dotzler (maybe the next sequel could be about him?). But many of the other cast members appear to be stuck in their roles, as if either unsure of what to do next without giving away the many feeble plot twists, or very simply bored. Olivier Megaton (Taken 2) directs again, and from the movie's flagging energy level, it appears as if he too, is ready to retire this series.

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