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Film Review: Taken 3

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If you don’t fancy going to see a talented Irish actor get a good banging in the bedroom this week, you could still catch another talented Irish actor get a different and more action-packed type of banging. Yes, Liam Neeson, OBE, once again prostitutes out his talent to Luc Besson and co for Taken 3. You see him get shot at, chased, beaten and finally stuffed and put into Madame Tussauds. Ok, well I may have made the last bit up, but it does feel like Neeson is now nothing but an animatronic waxwork, stuck on a particularly tiresome Groundhog Day-style career tract.

This instalment is a bit different to the previous Taken movies. This one stays within the US, though it’s still French-made, but Besson’s production company Europa with the help of French television channels. And nobody’s Taken this time – somebody is murdered, and as a result we get something like The 39 Steps meets Die Hard via straight-to-DVD hell.

Forgive me if I don’t try to unpick the whole ludicrous plot, but it involves our hero being suspected for murder and, well, he has to run like hell and figure it out for himself. The whole thing ends up as a bunch of garbled clichés set to music, with the only highlight being Forest Whitaker as the lead cop who subverts what could have been a lazily acted role and turns it into something vaguely clever.

Olivier Megaton directs action sequences with frenetic panache, although the plot is an insult to the viewer’s intelligence. The last-act twist can be seen coming a mile off. In the end the only thing left to do is to cherish Danish cinematographer Eric Kress’s gorgeous celluloid-captured widescreen cinematography and try to forget the story it helps tell is utter garbage.

Taken 3 is in cinemas now, Certificate 12A. Watch the trailer below:



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