Waiting to go into the cinema, I heard a woman say to her friend, ‘I can’t remember Taken 2 [nor can I], but it doesn’t matter, I suppose’.
She was right.
And Taken 3 doesn’t matter either.
More car chases, more violence as porn, more semi-automatic rifles killing people for our entertainment – a particularly sickening sight to put up with the day after the slaughterhouse of Charlie Hebdo.
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), the former government agent/homicidal maniac is back. At 62, Neeson looks his age, but we are meant to believe that he is tougher, smarter, faster, stronger and, in keeping with the times, more tech savvy than anybody who foolishly crosses him (he can download stuff onto his hand-held thingy while driving at breathtaking speed. What a man!).
The villains are ugly Russians (the flavour of the month among copycat casting agents). They have bad skin, bad clothes (in the case of their horrible leader, bad underpants, too) and a bad attitude towards everybody and everything – you can bet your bottom dollar that they strangle kittens.
As sure as God made righteous vigilantes with Italian leather jackets, you know that they are all doomed to meet their fate in a deservedly unpleasant manner when they stir Neeson’s vengeful wrath. Hang-dog Neeson is minding his own business, but ever alert for skulls to crack, when his ex-wife is murdered.
The crime is set up to make him appear to be the only suspect. Rather than let justice run its course, Neeson bashes up the cops that try to arrest him and, though on foot, is too quick for a pursuing LAPD car. Henceforth he is the lone-wolf, on the scent of evil and hell bent on retribution.
The plot jigs and jags, but the direction in which the story is headed is obvious even for the most dim-witted lover of the genre. Forest Whitaker is fine as the detective who admires Neeson’s guile … but seriously?
Have you heard of any good massacres lately?
~ John Campbell