Taken 3

  • 3.5 Stars
  • Released 1/21/2015
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9%
  • Budget: $48 Million
  • Gross: $325.8 Million

By: Scott Emigh, Sandite Pride Editor

     Okay, let's be real here. This was nowhere near as good as the first two. Not even close. If the first two were Mission: Impossible, then this one was the N64 video game adaptation. But who didn't love Mission: Impossible N64? An original trilogy is a VERY difficult thing to pull off. Very few movie series have ever been able to bring forth the same level of magic from one installment to the next. There are always exceptions: Star Wars, Rocky, etc. But when you look at the action movies that the Taken trilogy has the most in common with, they mostly follow the pattern of Death Wish. 67%...29%...6%... So it's not all that surprising to see the Taken trilogy follow the same path. What matters more, though? Critics' reviews or moviegoers' money? Because while the certified "freshness" rating is falling, the attendance is not. Taken 3 grossed 143% of the initial installment. 
     Taken 3 suffers from typical franchise fatigue and a redundant story line. It plays more like a Grand Theft Auto video game than a legitimate plot. Somehow, despite having nearly twice the budget of the first installment, the graphics are hokey at times and less than impressive. The protagonist wreaks havoc not simply on those responsible for his rampage, but also on anyone and everyone who gets in his way. As he leads the police in chase scenes that leave numerous vehicles strewn half-hazardously about the streets, one can't help but wonder why this man who has so recently experienced a loss is so seemingly okay with causing other people to experience the same turmoil. The kinds of wrecks he causes and carnage he leaves in his wake would be impossible to inflict without some casualties. Isn't the protagonist supposed to be someone you can root for? Not someone who is no doubt a cop killer by this point? How many innocent civilians left the streets on stretchers? Am I overthinking this or did the producers underthink it? No director is perfect, but come on....it's kind of hard to miss that the protagonist is supposed to be a good guy....
    The whole movie carries on with so little plot and so much nonsense, and I'm sitting here trying to justify a 3.5 star rating. Regardless of its plethora of flaws, this movie did one thing right. It starred Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson is without a doubt THE action hero of our generation. He is in the league of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his weird name fits perfectly with theirs too. He's been a Knight of both the Round Table, and the Jedi Order. He not only trained Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, but he trained Batman as well. He's been a god in multiple pantheons. The man kills wolves with his bare hands. You cannot cast Liam Neeson in a bad role, because he will turn it into a good role. No matter how many brain cells I lost while watching this movie, I enjoyed it thoroughly and would be surprised if I never watched it again.

*This article was originally published at www.scottemigh.weebly.com