Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review of Taken 3

WARNING: THERE are SPOILERS OF the movie TAKEN 3.  So if you don't want to know what happens, quit reading now. 

Joe and I went on a date night tonight, and part of our date we decided to go watch Taken 3 at the Dollar Theater.  Let me say right off the bat that I like Liam Neeson in most of his films, and enjoyed the original Taken movie a whole lot.  I am not sure if I ever saw Taken 2, but we thought Taken 3 would be entertaining.  Well, it was entertaining, but not in the way we expected. 

 I will say that the actual acting in the movie was fine; Liam Neeson did a great job with a difficult source material, in my opinion.  But good acting doesn't make up for a really bad story line.  First off, they make Liam Neeson's character's (Bryan Mill's) exwife Lenore, someone I genuinely liked in the first movie, into a skanky woman who is wanting to cheat on her current husband with her exhusband.  They try to paint Bryan Mills as a sympathetic character by having him basically kiss her and say he would wait to be with her after she gets out of her current relationship, so he's only KIND of honorable.  And these were characters I sympathized with in the first movie.   So from the beginning, it just felt a little yucky to me .  I really felt they could have handled the characters so much differently, and it would have set a context I could be much more sympathetic with.  They could have just kept them as friends, or she could have already been divorced again, or just had him wrongfully accused for murdering her without that particular back story, set up that way. 

 But that wasn't the best part.  I love a good action movie, and I even go prepared to have reality suspended and stretched quite a bit.  However, I lose sympathy for the "good guy" when they are hurting normal bystanders in their methods of attacking bad guys, and it is totally avoidable.  Especially, when they aren't even really defending themselves.  I mean, I honestly can suspend reality if it's a large scale battle scene, like in Avengers, where all these aliens are attacking earth, and they have to fight them off.   But in this case, Liam Neeson is wrongfully accused of murdering his ex wife and he goes on the lamb.   He steals a cop car at one point, and causes the car to go driving the wrong way down the highway.  In the process, he wrecks and hits a ton of cars, including a large truck, which makes the HUGE load on it go rolling off and crush about 3 or 4 cars in the process.  Thus, he is pretty much causing damage to uninvolved bystanders left and right, maiming or killing people, for no other reason than he doesn't want to be arrested. 

In the process of running from the cops, he resists arrest, assaults officers, steals their guns, drives extremely wrecklessly, causing death and carnage to innocent people, kills a BUNCH of Russians which the cops KNOW about, blows up a part of building, etc.  The best line of the entire movie is near the end of the movie, when the main cop, played by Forrest Whittaker, says they COULD arrest him for getting on the cop computers and stealing information about the case, but they won't.  Joe and I were like, What the HECK?  I mean, we just saw him break law after law, and THAT is the thing they focus on? Then there was a whole plot line where one of Bryan Mill's buddies gets shot while they are trying to attack the Russians.  The last scene with that guy in it you hear the cops saying that he was still alive, and then....nothing.  At the end of the movie, you never find out what happened to him.  Is he dead or alive?  It's like the character was just irrelevant.  But he is played through the entire movie as one of Bryan Mill's closest friends.

The other thing that was hard to suspend reality about this time was the fight scenes.  And I give ALOT of leeway in action movies.  I mean, I know Liam Neeson is tough, but he is not as young as he once was.  And the entire movie he is fighting off 30 year old guys like nothing.  But every fight scene, the camera was jerky, so it was hard to follow.  I think they could have had him outsmarting them more, and still fighting them some, and it would have played better. 

Anyway, Joe and I still enjoyed our night out, and the movie had us laughing at the end, though I am pretty sure that was not the intent of the movie.  I have to say I would not recommend this movie to a friend to see, unless one is looking for unintentional comedy.  And those are my thoughts about this movie. :)

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