“Taken 3” has star Liam Neeson doing more of the same that we saw in the series’ first two movies, and the result is less than satisfying.
While die-hard fans may appreciate it, the rest of us probably will be relieved that this series, along with “The Expendables” movies, finally is being put in the cinematic retirement home.
Neeson returns as former CIA agent Bryan Mills, who’s trying to live a quiet life in Los Angeles with his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). However, that all changes when — spoiler alert — his ex-wife, Lenny (Famke Janssen), is killed and Bryan becomes the prime suspect. It isn’t long before he’s putting his “particular set of skills” to good use once again by doing martial arts on the cops and trying to evade capture.
Forest Whitaker costars as an inspector trying to track down Mills. If this was “The Fugitive,” Neeson has the Harrison Ford role and Whitaker is Tommy Lee Jones. Basically, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the movie.
The first “Taken” was a surprise hit, and because of that success, it brought a sequel that mostly was panned by critics and audiences. I don’t know why the filmmakers thought it was necessary to drag this story even further. Instead of anything memorable, we get treated to an endless amount of pointless action scenes, formulaic plot elements and a cast that looks exhausted by the material rather than exhilarated.
In terms of action movie stars who are over the hill, this probably is the worst outing since Bruce Willis’ turn in the last “Die Hard” movie.
“I feel like I’m going through the motions,” Mills’ ex-wife quips at one point in the film. “I feel trapped.”
Believe me, so do we.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.