No Messing with Mills

Taken 3

taken_three_ver2

Director: Olivier Megaton

Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Forest Whitaker, Sam Spruell, Don Harvey

Oscar Nominee for Schindler’s List Liam Neeson reprises his role as ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills in the third installment of the hugely successful Taken franchise. French director Olivier Megaton with a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, Taken 3 does not disappoint as a gritty muscular and tenacious thriller aimed for the 35 plus age group.

The first film Taken was set in Paris and the second film was set in Istanbul and now Taken 3 sees the much blighted Mills family in their home city of Los Angeles.

When Mill’s ex-wife Leonore St John played by Famke Janssen is mysteriously murdered, he is framed for the crime. Not wanting to becoming a guest of the LAPD, Miller ingeniously escapes from the police and goes on a vicious quest to find out who really killed his ex-wife and mother of his beloved daughter Kim played by Maggie Grace, who was the victim of a kidnapping in Taken and nearly sold into the sordid sex trade of Paris.

As the intricate plot of Taken 3 unfolds, it is revealed that Leonore’s relationship with her estranged and slimy husband Stuart St John played by Dougray Scott (Ripley’s Game, Mission Impossible 2) is not what it appears. St John owes large amounts of cash to the Russian mafia through some dodgy arms deals who can be particularly unforgiving when one doesn’t pay their debts.

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Veteran ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills knows there is a frame up and in a terrifying and exhilarating cat and mouse game Miller is pursued by wily LAPD detective Frank Doltzer wonderfully played by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) who soon realizes that Mills is no ordinary opponent. Liam Neeson has the gravitas and the tough guy image to be taken seriously as a hardened father who does not let anyone mess with his family. For there is no messing with Mills -he will find you and kill you.

Without spoiling the rest of the story, Taken 3 is a fast-paced well directed and gritty action thriller which sees Mills cause havoc on a Los Angeles freeway, at a University campus and in the penthouse of nefarious Russian mobster Oleg Malankov played by Sam Spruell (The Hurt Locker).

This is a shoot first and ask questions later film, with stunning action sequences and a fitting way to end the third installment of a gritty action trilogy.

With the razor sharp editing and unforgiving hand to hand combat sequences, the original Taken was such a surprise hit, with its trademark of unrelenting violence in a mature machismo style, it was no wonder that two more sequels were in order.

Taken 3 does not disappoint action fans and those that loved the first two films. Highly recommended viewing for those that like their action heroes older, tougher and wiser.

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