When it comes to the Taken movies, I fell in love with the first one within the first ten minutes. I mean it’s Liam freaking Neeson right? Well I thought the second one was okay but wow did this this third one really meet my expectations. So lets get this review under way.
Taken 3 is directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, Taken 2) and is written by Luc Besson (Transporter 2, The Fifth Element) and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken, Transporter 2). Taken 3 is the 3rd movie in the series, obviously. We pick up a little while after Taken 2 finished (no real time is given but his daughter is moving into an apartment with her boyfriend). Brian Mills (played by Liam Neeson, Taken and A Walk Among the Tombstones) is shopping for his daughter Kim’s (played by Maggie Grace, Taken and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2) birthday. He gets her a giant panda and right before he shows up to her apartment Kim finds out she’s pregnant. Naturally she’s freaking and trying to keep it together around her Dad. Her boyfriend Jamie comes back just in time and Brian agrees to leave, taking the panda with him. On his way home, he calls his ex-wife Lenore St. John (played by Famke Janssen, Taken, X-Men) and tells her that the panda didn’t go over well. Clearly these two have grown close because he invites her over for dinner. She turns is down but does actually end up showing up.
There is a small kiss shared and Brian agrees that it’s a bad idea. However, he is going to be leaving town soon and somehow ends up giving Lenore a key to his apartment. She leaves and we see him the next day out golfing with his buddies, Harris (played by David Warshofsky, Captain Phillips and Now You See Me), Mark (played by Jon Gries, The Well, After We Rest), and Sam (played by Leland Orser, Taken and Revolution). I should mention that Sam is my favorite side character for this series. They are discussing the job that will be taking Brian out of town, he wants to do the job but isn’t happy about having to leave Kim. Later that night Lenore’s husband shows up at his door. Stuart St. John (played by Dougray Scott, Everafter and Hitman) is there to tell Brian to backoff Lenore because he wants to get their marriage back on track.
Brian agrees but the next morning Lenore texts him, saying that she needs to be see him. Brian goes down the street to get bagels and when he returns home, Lenore is already there except she’s dead on his bed. And someone has called the cops. Brian is able to get away from the cops (wild run around the neighborhood) through the sewage system. He gets to a phone and calls Kim (who is at her mother’s house). He tells her that her Mom is dead and that he’s being framed for it. Kim freaks but knows that her Dad will find out who did this. Meanwhile at Brian’s apartment the cops have arrived, led by Frank Dotzler (played by Forest Whitaker, The Last King and Phone booth). Frank gets the basis of what happened and he sees the bagels on the coffee table. He takes one out and eats one. He then begins to piece things together and finding out how Brian escaped. Brian however is in his own version of a safe house. Sam and the gang apparently have setup a plan in case something like this happened, hidden in a factory. There are supplies there and Brian starts to figure out how Lenore ended up dead and who is framing him.
“If you go down this road, the LAPD, the FBI, the CIA… they’re all gonna come for you. They’ll find you. And they’ll stop you. ” – Frank Dotzler
At this point Kim has been informed by the police and questioned about her Dad. The cops slip a bug into her sweater at the same time. Her step-father has ID the body and shared what he knows (all of which is fishy, cue your bad guy). Kim starts to see that Stuart is acting weird. And with the help of Sam and the gang, Brian is able to go to the funeral, where the police are watching. They tell Kim that he will be in touch. Also, Brian has made his way to see Lenore’s body and has managed to copy the GPS history off to see where she has been going, all while being hunted by the cops. He tracks her to a small diner on the other side of town and is able to look at the security footage and see’s her being taken by someone with a star tattoo on their hand. Brian is taken into the custody by the cops but is able to escape.
Brian goes to visit Kim at her college campus and they silence the bug for second in the bathroom. He tells her some of the things he has found and Kim shares how weird Stuart has been acting and that he has upped all of the security. Kim has been being followed a cop as well. She also tells him that she’s pregnant. Brian starts to see things fall into place and begins to tail Stuart (after escaping the cops again). While he’s tailing Stuart however, he is run off the road by the people who killed Lenore. He again escapes (because it’s Brian) and he follows them to a small liquor store where he kills all of them, after learning that Stuart owed someone money. Brian goes to Stuart’s house on the beach, where he is waiting for the men who Brian just killed.
Brian finds out that Stuart owes a lot of money to a Russia gangster and they killed Lenore because he couldn’t pay. Apparently Stuart had been making deals with this guy for a long time but this one went south. Brian agrees to help Stuart get out of his debt and to get revenge for Lenore’s death. With the help of his friends and Kim, they are able to get inside of the building where the Russian is living. Stuart tells them he has the money to pay him back and is able to get past the first section of security. Brian sneaks on in Stuart’s place and heads upstairs. After several gun fights, he finally gets inside to the Russian. After some punches, guns and very hard falls, Brian kills the Russian. Howevever before he dies, the cops have just learned that Stuart had a $12 million insurance policy out on Lenore and himself. This would pay his debt off. Meanwhile in the decoy van in the parking lot, Kim sees the texts that were sent to her mother’s phone and lets her Dad know that Stuart had basically framed him.
Brian heads back down but Stuart shoots Sam and grabs Kim and they take off. The cops show up just as Brian makes it down to the parking garage. He sees that Sam has been shot but is going to be okay (I literally said aloud, “You can’t kill Sam!”, very happy to hear he lived). He steals the car Russian owned and speeds off. Frank is quickly following his trail and is trying to tell Brian that he knows he didn’t kill Lenore but if he kills Stuart, there is nothing he can do. Brian is able to get to the airport just in time to knock the plane down just as it’s about to take off. Stuart comes out of the plane with Kim at gun point. However Kim has apparently learned a thing or two (finally) and is able to get free and Brian shoots him, but doesn’t kill him. Brian wants to but Kim says there can’t be justice and he’ll go to jail if he does. Brian does warn Stuart that once he’s out of jail, he’ll track him down and kill him, no matter where he hides.
Brian is sitting in Frank’s office, finalizing all of the paperwork and story that the cops needs. Frank tells him that he knew something was off about how Lenore died the moment he took a bite of the bagel, because it was still warm. Plus a man who just got fresh bagels wouldn’t kill his ex-wife. Brian leaves and goes to meet up with Kim. Kim and Jamie have agreed to keep the baby and if it’s a girl they want to name if after her Mom. And that’s the movie.
Overall there is a lot of stunts in this movie. There are a few moments where you say (come on speed it up) and you start to see that Brian is starting to show his age. However, Brian is still a guy you don’t want to mess with and his friends are definitely people I want on my side. As for Kim, the girl needs to learn some tricks from her Dad and actually learn to fight. You would think at this point she’d have something right? Anyway, I give this 9 out of 10 stars. I take one away because again Kim, your Dad is awesome, learn something!