Friday, January 16, 2015

Taken 3

When Common Sense Gets TAK3N Away
by Reymundo Salao

Taken 3 is the third and final installment in the Taken trilogy which stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, an ex-government operative who has been fighting kidnappers who targeted his daughter in the previous two films. Inasmuch as I think the trailer pretty much gives out a spoiler to the movie, let's just say that Mills (Neeson) is being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and now everybody seems to want to kill him. The story did divert from the first one, but it's still quite familiar coz this time it looks like it's ripping off "The Fugitive". [hit the jump to continue]

It's no surprise that this third movie is as awful as the second one; it's coz it's directed by the same director; Oliver Megaton, who also directed “Transporter 3”, and the similarly awful 2007 adaptation of the videogame of the same name; "Hitman".

This movie looks exactly like one of those straight-to-video action movies. Remember those never-heard-of films by Wesley Snipes or Steven Seagal? Remember how awfully-made those movies were? Well Taken 3 feels like those movies. Except that this one has louder explosions and big stunts, it has a whole lot larger budget; the kind of budget given to a movie that's gonna hit number one at the box office charts the week it gets released. And mission accomplished for Liam Neeson and its director Megaton, because it did hit that number one spot.

The movie just flat out insults its audiences' intelligence with its dumbness. There are scenes that just does not bother to stitch some sense into it; We often see Liam Neeson seem like he died in some crash, but the film doesn’t bother to lay out the credibility of how he survived. Except for the fact that: he's just Liam Neeson... He doesn’t need to explain how he survives any danger. We see Neeson get into situations wherein, for example; he’s trapped in an elevator shaft inside a building, we see him panicking and trying to get out, seconds later, the building explodes and is overwhelmed with fire. Then we cut to a scene where Neeson is very much alive, looking neat and dapper, without any explanation whatsoever as to how he survived.

There are some scenes here that are too ridiculous to the point that it suddenly looks like a scene from one of those “Fast and Furious” movies. At one point, Neeson's car just bumps into a section of another vehicle and immediately sends his car flung to the other side of the freeway. It's as if the vehicle he bumped into instantly transformed into a stunt ramp. It's the same kind of circus you get from the “Fast & Furious” movies, but while that one was working with some kind of cartoonish fun, this had to exist in the supposedly-brooding world of the Taken universe.

This movie also has a lot of predictable stereotypes; the villain that escapes on his private mini-jet plane with the leading lady held hostage, the handsome side character who is "secretly" the main villain, the "former Soviet assassin turned mercenaries" villains (even though, let's face it: most Soviet assassins should be more or less in their retirement age by now!), and of course, there's also the good old big twist that makes the story needlessly complicated.

Even though the film was awful, I was trying to have fun with it. Believe me: I also wanted this to be a good movie! But, aside from the crazy ridiculous scenes, the rest of the movie seemed a bit too awful and boring. The first Taken movie boosted Liam Neeson's career; this one seems like it wants to end it.

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