No one on this planet would have ever predicted the success of ‘Taken’; originally planned to be a straight-to-video release back in 2008 film which was a surprise big box-office hit at the time which eventually went on to earn a sequel that everyone was asking for. Unfortunately, the big studio heads got involved with the film and made it reduce the violence that the first one had from an 18 rating to a 12A rating for the second film to guarantee the success of the sequel at the box-office which flattened the films feel. The first film was successful because it was violent and edgy; the second ‘Taken’ film was a big disappointment as we were just delivered the same film but in a toned down manner. I can confirm that I wasn’t eagerly anticipating a third film in the series, but upon watching the film, I actually enjoyed it.
Even though the third and final film in the series has a 12A rating once again, notable changes to the third film make this a far more superior film to ‘Taken 2’. The notable changes that make it better include following a different storyline to the other two films which makes the whole film a lot more engaging. Which this time, we see Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills double-crossed for the murder of his ex-wife and is subsequently chased down by the police for murder. While on the run, he tries to prove his innocence and to also find out the truth to the murder. The other change which shook up the film to make it a little bit more exciting was the addition of a class actor in Forest Whitaker; starring as Inspector Franck Dotzler, Forest Whitaker adds that extra spice to the film in which he has the star power to keep you engaged to the screen while Liam Neeson is absent. ‘Taken 3’ isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, due to its cut for a 12A rating, there are noticeable holes and dreadful editing throughout the film which have obviously been done to take out any additional violence which would of gave it an 15 rating. The awful cut scenes and the dreadful special effects which are only used very moderately in the film (thank god) do pull the film down, but not enough to make it an awful film.
Hopefully EuropaCorp, 20th Century Fox & Luc Besson all keep to their word that this will be the last ‘Taken’ film, because they will actually end the series on a little high with an entertaining action film, which I assume will be even better in the uncut edition when it hits home video formats later in the year. ‘Taken 3’ surprises with an interesting enough storyline, more action scenes that the second film, and overall, a much improved one from the second too. 3 out of 5 stars.