Taken 3 (3.5 stars)
Usually sequels are more of the same. Usually I will avoid them with a few exceptions like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings (and all their prequels), and the Terminator movies. But after the movie Taken I developed a “thing” for Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). I missed Taken 2 in theaters but managed to see it on either Netflix or Amazon Prime a few weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised that the story was continued in a realistic manner and was still delightfully action driven. When I heard there was a Taken 3 coming out I was pretty skeptical. Neeson is getting up in years, the story seemed to be resolved but what the heck, it was Bryan Mills. Without giving anything away I have to say I liked it. Now, neither of the sequels had the impact of Number one. But Bryan Mills can still kick ass with the best of them. His crew of buddies made their usual appearance and of course the former Mrs. Mills now Mrs. St John was there along with her new husband Stuart and daughter Kim. While the film started out slowly it picked up about twenty minutes in. This sequel is more plot driven than action driven and it works. It works because Mills is older, daughter Kim is grown up, and you don’t have to ask yourself the question “how many Albanians does it take to surrender to Bryan Mills and his particular set of skills?” Even when I was pretty sure I knew what was going on and who was going down I’d get a jolt. Forest Whitaker was a great addition to the cast although I think his character could have been developed a bit more. The very end was a little weak and there is a small hint there could be yet another Taken out there someday. I sort of hope there won’t be. But then I sort of hope there will be because who can resist Bryan Mills?
Liam Neeson … Bryan Mills
Forest Whitaker … Franck Dotzler
Famke Janssen … Lenore St. John
Maggie Grace … Kim Mills