With his life seemingly back on track after his family’s past traumas, former government operative, Bryan Mills, is elated when his ex-wife, Lenore, wishes to rekindle their relationship. Unfortunately his happiness is cut short when he discovers Lenore’s body. Worse, he has been framed for her murder. With the law hell-bent on bringing him in, he manages to evade capture so he can discover for himself who killed Lenore and protect his daughter but each lead he finds takes him deeper into the underworld of the Russian mafia.
Taken 3 (2015) – Director: Olivier Megaton
Running Length: 109 mins
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker
The third instalment of the hugely successful ‘Taken’ franchise sees action-hero, Bryan Mills, on the run from the law to discover the identity of his wife’s killer. With this seeming to be the finale of the series, director Olivier Megaton could easily have chosen to go for an all-out action blockbuster giving little attention to character development, however he has instead chosen to be more restrained, focusing more on the chase and balancing Mills’ intelligence with his ‘very particular set of skills’ well – the result of which is an energetic, plot driven movie with plenty of twists and turns.
Due to Neeson’s character taking centre-stage, the other characters have always been somewhat superfluous and little more than his motivation to keep going, however, like the first film, the dynamics of this work very well. Forest Whitaker’s character, Franck Dotzler, who plays the main LAPD Inspector trying to capture Mills, is a little wasted and could have had more screen time to add some depth but this doesn’t spoil an otherwise entertaining movie.
Whilst ‘Taken 3’ follows the usual pattern where a wrongly accused tough guy fights his way to the truth – while being constantly underestimated along the way – it is still very enjoyable to watch. Some viewers may be a little disappointed due to the revenge motivation being toned down but it is nonetheless extremely watchable and ends the franchise with aplomb.
IS ‘TAKEN 3’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
A man is kidnapped from his family home and bundled into the back of a car. He is taken to an office building and, while being walked to a particular place, an office worker is seen lying dead on the floor. It is obvious that he is terrified, especially when he is brought to a very menacing man who threatens to harm him. This scene ends with some violence which is not directly shown on-screen but is quite strong. This part of the movie is at the beginning and, due to the serious level of threat, could be very frightening for some children.
As shown in the trailers, Bryan finds his wife’s body on a bed. She is fully clothed and there is no indication of her being a victim of sexual violence. There is no blood and it is initially unclear how she died, however later in the movie Bryan tells another character that ‘she was in my bed with her throat slashed’.
There is a fight scene which is relatively tame to begin with, several incidental characters are either killed or knocked unconscious with little blood and gore but it becomes stronger towards the end. The culmination of the scene shows one character forcing another to put a gun into his mouth and after the trigger is pulled, there is a brief shot of blood splattering out of the back of their head.
One character is knocked unconscious with the butt of a gun and kidnapped. They are then seen with a hood over their head and after the hood is removed they are thrown to the floor, a cloth is placed over their face and water poured over it. This is done several times and the man is shown to suffer and be afraid for his life for around one minute.
There is an action scene where a car is almost forced off a busy road and some cars are crashed into. At one point a large vehicle loses the shipment container it is carrying which flips over and smashes into several cars. The tops of many cars are demolished and, although nothing is shown on-screen, it is very likely that the people in these cars are at least badly injured or possibly dead.
There are a couple of other violent moments involving vehicles, in one scene a car is driven off a cliff and another is deliberately driven backwards down a lift shaft causing a huge explosion. In both cases the occupant seems likely to have been killed.
A woman talks to her ex-husband about how she fantasises about him even though she is currently married to someone else, she kisses him and gives him reason to believe that they will get back together. A young woman takes a pregnancy test and seems worried about the result; she then struggles to discuss the matter with her family.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
Although there is more to ‘Taken 3’ than just mindless action, it is bound to be a hit with anyone wanting a dose of high-octane thrills that allows the audience to fully support someone who has been wronged. While a lot of the abduction, revenge and vigilantism that defined the previous movies has been removed, the violence is still rather strong and the level of threat is very realistic. For this reason we feel that ‘Taken 3’ is appropriate for kids aged 11 and over.
- Violence: 3/5 (lots of action-style violence although there is very little blood and gore. There are realistic threats and acts of violence from members of the mafia. One scene lasting around 2 minutes shows how violent a particular character is; they slit a man’s throat, shoot several others and hold a gun to the head of a major character)
- Emotional Distress: 2/5 (although a major character is killed and is mourned by their loved ones, the emotional distress is not lingered upon. Another character is shot and it is unclear whether he survives although when he is first found, the dialogue explains that he is still alive at that point)
- Fear Factor: 3/5
- Sexual Content: 3/5 (One character tells another ‘I was wearing something more skimpy than this’. A man enters the ladies restrooms and barges in to a cubicle while a young woman appears to be using the toilet. She angrily tells him to leave and calls him a ‘pervert’. A man sits in a hot tub with his arms around two women in bikinis and kisses them both, he also smokes a cigar and drinks alcohol)
- Bad Language: 3/5 (mild and moderate cursing and blasphemy throughout, it is not used excessively but is quite difficult to avoid. One strong curse word is used)
- Dialogue: 3/5 (moderate descriptions of murders including someone having their ‘throat slashed’. One character tells a young woman ‘I will shoot you in the head’)
- Other notes: Deals with themes of family love, marital breakdown and divorce, pregnancy (and therefore sex) outside of marriage, revenge, murder, the consequences of dealing with the mafia and going against the law to clear your name.
Words by Laura Record