This is the king of THE TRAILER SPOILS VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF THE FILM scenarios – the main element in question here occurs (relatively) near the beginning of the movie but in this case that is no excuse. This is part three of the successful Taken series (the first was back in 2008) starring Liam Neeson as Brian Mills, the man with an especially deadly skill set and whose daughter you definitely don’t want to kidnap and sell as a sex slave, and for this reason people are going to go and watch the film regardless of the trailer so it ought to be possible to create one that gives minimum details away. I’m not very happy with the indifference shown to their product, but also the characters that have been fleshed out to various degrees thus far and we have come to like.
No surprise that this will again put Mills and the people he cares about into jeopardy, and it is entertaining and fun to engage with just as before. However, other than the aforementioned, what detracts from the film and story is the direction, from Olivier Megaton, which on several occasions ruins action scenes with far too rapid editing that makes it extremely difficult to make out what on earth is going on. There’s a sloppiness to some of the execution as well, Mills survives peril at one point simply by escaping it, not by doing anything clever or having the drop on the bad guys, and some of the gun fights have that feeling of ‘my character is going to win this so I don’t have to be too careful’. All this is perhaps best summed up by the final stunt which you see coming a mile off and has you kind of groaning to yourself – but when it happens it is actually really cool, it’s just been delivered so poorly that they’ve mostly blown it. Such a shame.
I still enjoyed this and it is by no means a dire sequel – Neeson, Maggie Grace and Forest Whitaker are all good and little touches like Whitaker constantly playing with a chess piece (he’s a detective) are cheesy, but appreciated nonetheless. If you have not seen the trailer then the advantage will be yours.