Please, please, please don't "take" me there again!


Film Review © 2015 by Trip Reynolds


Directed by Olivier Magaton. Screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamenk, based on characters created by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Produced by Luc Besson. Co-executive producer Fernando Victoria de Lecea. Line producer Michael Mandaville.

Starring: Liam Neeson (as ex-covert super-spy, Bryan Mills), Forest Whitaker (as LAPD Inspector Franck Dotzler), Famke Janssen (as Mill's ex-wife, Lenore St. John), Maggie Grace (as Mill's daughter, Kim Mills), Dougray Scott (as Lenore's deceitful husband, Stuart St. John), Sam Spruell (as ex-KGB mercenary Oleg Malankov), Don Harvey (as Garcia), Dylan Bruno (as Smith), Leland Orser (as Sam), David Warshofsky (as Bernie Harris), Jon Gries (as Mark Casey), Jonny Weston (as Jimy), and a host of others.

There's absolutely no "creative" reason to make this third film in the "Taken" film franchise, because even though "Taken 2 (2012)" was poorly written, nevertheless, it tied up all the loose ends from the original "Taken (2008)." So, "Taken 3" was made solely to put money in the pockets of the film producers and lead actors. To give the series more depth, producers could have produced a prequel that explained how Mills (Liam Neeson) became a ex-covert super-spy, or even better, the series should have changed the premise of the franchise by having Mills "take" someone for his protection, or their own protection, or to protect others. Sadly, film gives us a terrible script and a cast of very talented actors must suffer through it.

Instead, this time, Stuart St. John (Dougray Scott) frames Mills for killing his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), and the script completely throws common sense out of the window, and throws in unnecessary fights, car chases, explosions, etc. Mills could have easily proven his innocence by showing (1) the receipt from the coffee house, (2) actual witnesses from the coffee house, and (3) witnesses along the route where he was running prior to going to the coffee house that collectively prove he could not have killed his ex-wife - because it's impossible to be in two places at the same time. At film's end, LAPD Inspector Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) clearly knew Mills was innocent as he examined the receipt from the pastries purchased by Mills at the coffee house. Whitaker is smarter than his character and it shows.

Of course, we knew the "husband" did it, because Stuart St. John was creepy from his very first on-screen appearance, and the script had both Lenore and her daughter Kim (again played by Maggie Grace) having marital and step-father "issues" with Stuart. Plus, as expected, St. John owed money to an ex-KGB mercenary, Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell), and to repay Malankov, St. John killed Lenore to collect on a $12 million dollar insurance policy.

"Taken 3" introduces us to some of Mill's CIA buddies, and of course, dispite their training and expertise only Mills is able to save the day.

Film is extremely predictable. Direction by Olivier Magaton is perfunctory. Editing by Audrey Simonaud and Nicolas Trembasiewicz is brisk, but film should have been cut from 109 minutes to 0 minutes.

Recommendation: Don't waste your time. There's nothing memorable here.