Well, it looks like we have our first bad movie of 2015.
The reviews for “Taken 3” currently sit at 9% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and that number is quickly dropping. (They were at 12% this morning, and hovered around 30% yesterday.)
Liam Neeson returns once again as ex-government agent Bryan Mills, but it appears his “particular set of skills” may be lacking the same spark that made the first two fan favourites.
Here’s what reviews are saying:
Besson’s team has signed off the trilogy with a whimper rather than the kind of unfettered bang delivered by the first two films. That may compromise the movie’s performance at the box office as it unspools internationally
Strangely, Besson and his long-running series co-writer Robert Mark Kamen seem to have overlooked the one thing that made Taken and Taken 2 tick: the appeal of leading man Neeson, the anguished and ageing action-hero who tries, with solitary and superhuman effort, to save his family.
The third and presumably final instalment of the Liam Neeson action franchise is a mind-numbing, crash-bang misfire.
The Fox release will draw crowds simply because it’s supposedly the last instalment of the lucrative franchise, but they will just be hostages to tedium.
The concept is lame, and the execution is lame, too. The more the film advances, the less we care about the plot — or anything that happens to anybody, really. It doesn’t help that the best character in these movies … is already gone.
Taken 3’s massive fault is in the action. Megaton fails his leading man by pummelling us with angles. A talky scene could have 30 cuts in a one minute stretch, reducing Neeson’s work to a rushed, babbling mess. Money shot moments are particularly infuriating. A pile-up car chase scraps geography and timing for visual carnage. There’s no time to revel in stunts or enjoy Bryan’s Jack-Bauer-on-HFS instincts. Megaton would rather burn our eyes with flashbang cuts — setpieces as phosphene.
Scott Mendelson’s Forbes’ review doesn’t hold back. The title alone is “‘Taken 3’ Turns Liam Neeson Into Nicolas Cage” If you’re going to read one review, I recommend this one for its sheer honesty and humour.
Liam Neeson as an action hero is no longer a novelty, and Taken 3 is a stunningly wrongheaded and borderline incompetent action sequel that sullies what came before.
This is all a far cry from the original Taken film, the sheepish fun of which lay in seeing Neeson’s primal, fatherly rage being shaken out of retirement. Back then he was still Aslan, Kinsey, Rob Roy, Oskar Schindler, and the violence — visceral and transgressive, rather than the bloodless, 12A-rated shoot-’em-up stuff here — felt like the eruption of a long-dormant volcano. Now it’s just Liam Neeson hitting people again. What a tragedy that’s become boring.
The reviews may not matter.
2012’s “Taken 2” debuted to $US45 million opening weekend. It went on to make $US376 million worldwide, with a lot of that money ($US236 million) coming from overseas.
The problem with “Taken 3,” is that once viewers realise they’re getting a film unlike the first two, word of mouth may result in a big second week dip for the film at theatres.
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