Thursday, January 22, 2015

Taken 3 took me nowhere

WITH many an internet meme suggesting that Bryan Mills' (Liam Neeson) daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), stay home for a change, following the much anticipated release of the third (and hopefully) last installment of the Taken series of films, I could not agree more.

In what seemed like an attempt to revive a long-dead story, the producers decided to kill Bryan’s ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and frame him for her death. I guess, this time round, the title ‘Taken’ is used in the figurative sense. Much of the movie’s plot centres around Bryan running from the cops and finding his wife’s killers as he is being hunted down by detective Frank Dotzler (Forrest Whitaker).

The first Taken movie, I thought, was one of the best action flicks I had seen in a long time as it revived the ‘sterring’ (sic) persona so many of us grew up with and admired in other sterings like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and various other members of the expandibles. I especially liked it for how clever it was made, how raw the action scenes are and the witty one liners:

               … I don’t know who you are,
               But I will look for you,
I will find you,
And I will kill you.

Okay, maybe that’s four lines, but my point is that the first movie was amazing only to be crapped on by Taken 2. Admittedly, I didn’t see the second one but I hear that everybody hated it.

One scene that really killed what little tolerance I had for the film; is where Bryan hijacks a cop car like a bad ass and veers into on-coming traffic (because no car chase scene is complete without going the wrong way on an already dangerous highway). Gone are the days when action movies crashed real 18-wheelers for the enjoyment of the audience.

The scene with the jack-knifing truck was so fake that I involuntarily face-palmed the rest of the scene and all I could hear were the sound effects of that typical wheel-squeak from a jack-knifing truck. I also hated the rudimentary user-interfaces that Bryan used on every computer and cellphone which were designed to show what he was doing with the computer in case it was not obvious enough to the audience who have never used a computer before.

 I can count so many things wrong with this movie but all I want to say now is: do not go watch it…but you will because you’re rebellious and I’ll say I told you so.

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