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Vengeance fuels fast and furious Taken 3

Film & TV

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There’s something refreshing about a feature film that knows its station and doesn’t purport to be anything more. Taken 3, which once again features ex-covert operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), is such movie.

This third, muscular outing for French producer Luc Besson and his director of choice Olivier Megaton is surefooted throughout, from the laudable performances to the epileptic, flickering cinematography and fast-action plot.

It’s a film that holds its audience in a vice-like grip, not once wavering until the somewhat predictable climax. The treachery is, to a large extent, signposted, but this is still a taut, attention-grabbing thriller that combines Gallic flair with high-chase entertainment.

Mills, a retired CIA agent, had to save his daughter after she was kidnapped by human traffickers in Paris in the first film in the franchise and then was taken hostage himself in Taken 2 – another box office success, although it was criticised by many reviewers. This time round, he has been framed for the murder of his ex-wife, Lenny (Famke Janssen), and is on the run from the Los Angeles police, led by Detective Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker).

Simultaneously, the expert killing machine must use his “particular set of skills” to hunt down the real killers and safeguard daughter Kim (Maggie Grace).

In the less-than-subtle action that follows, Neeson and Whitaker are outstanding. They both add much to this energetic crime story filled to overflowing with furious situations, firm discourse and a sharp, even sadistic sense of vengeance.

From the start, the movie is brutal, but not in a gore-for-gore’s sake kind of way. Mills is an honourable man, and he’s only dangerous when his family is in danger – and then the villains had best beware. He doesn’t know who they are, but he will find them, and we all know what happens when he does.

Overall, Taken 3 is an enjoyable and well-made action film; truly a guilty pleasure.


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