A teenage girl is kidnapped while on holiday in Paris
and her father, a former government agent tracks her disappearance and murders those responsible for her abduction.
It's by no means original nor does it deliver anything
fresh to the action-thriller genre and if you don't like preposterous plots, violence, xenophobia or Liam Neeson then you really won't find it enjoyable.
However, for those who want some brainless thrills,
this hits the spot, with Liam Neeson turning back the years to deliver a gritty, hard-bitten, all-action perfomance with some rather nifty martial arts moves, all of which helps turning a
blind eye to how ridiculous the premise actually is. The film was hugely popular, enough so to generate a couple of sequels.
TAKEN 2 (15)
D: Olivier Megaton
20th Century Fox/Europacorp/M6/Canal+ (Luc
A hugely disappointing sequel which goes through
similar motions as the first.
Liam Neeson's ex CIA agent has rekindled his broken
marriage and he, his ex-wife and daughter go vacationing in Turkey, where Albanian gang members seek revenge for their pals dying in the first film. The thrills and suspense from the
first movie are replaced with xenophobic stereotypes, clichéd set pieces, unconvincing dialogue and clumsy direction.
Despite all this, the film performed successfully at
the box office, but this was due wholly to the popularity of the first film rather than on its own merits (of which it has none).
TAKEN 3 (15)
D: Olivier Megaton
20th Century Fox/EuropaCorp (Luc
France 2014 (released 2015)
W: Luc Besson & Robert Mark
DP: Eric Kress
Ed: Audrey Simonaud & Nicolas
Mus: Nathaniel Méchaly
Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills), Forest Whitaker (Insp.
Frank Dotzler), Famke Janssen (Lenore Mills-St. John), Maggie Grace (Kim Mills), Dougray Scott (Stuart St. John)
A more apt title would be "Taken The Piss", "Taken
The Money & Run" or even "The Fugitive", as this has so little to do with the first film and is more a remake of the TV series/film where a man is framed for the murder of his
wife and goes on a runner until he can solve the mystery of who the real killer is. That's the story here.
The first film saw ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills
(Neeson) venture through Europe looking for the men who kidnapped his daughter. The second film sees Mills and his ex-wife themselves kidnapped while holidaying in Turkey. This third
film doesn't even bother with a kidnapping, unless you count an opening prologue which is so poorly executed you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a trailer for a completely different
Everything here is shoddily done, with a plot
twist which is so obvious that it can barely be called a plot twist at all.
The first sequel was a cash grab. You'd have to
create a brand new term for whatever this is.