Just my luck. The first film I review for 2015 becomes candidate for worst film of the year. No film is without its flaws. What could make Taken 3 better?
HEAVY SPOILERS! HEAVY SPOILERS!
Before you read this spoiler heavy article, you can read the review here.
1. More Action
How can you call yourself Taken if action is the background to an almost two hour drama. The first 30 minutes of the film involve Kim (Maggie Grace) taking a pregnancy test, Bryan and Kim having cliched and boring father-daughter banter, and then some ex-wife problems. I won't even call the first chase scene -- where Bryan avoids being captured by the police -- a true action sequence. It was sloppy, dull, and with little action. The first action scene comes in the form of another chase sequence, this time involving police cars. Even this action scene gets action wrong with director Olivier Megaton hiring a poor special effects company and cheap choreographers.
Let's just say that the PG-13 rating hurt the film and move on. Bring on the action and keep it bloody, but not simple. Bryan Mills is not a simple guy, so the action shouldn't be either. Make sure the special effects during car chase scenes are up to par with the rest of the blockbuster community. Give the audience a real show.
2. Better Director & Screenwriter
We all should have seen this coming after Taken 2. It's really a wonder what happened between Taken and Taken 3. Luc Besson wrote and produced all three films, but some how each screenplay became less and less about the action and more about family issues. Luc Besson provided audiences with a weird range of his talents in 2014. He first released his Taken 3 wannabe, 3 Days To Kill, then he released his box office success [Lucy](movie:935973). Difference? Lucy was advertised as a thriller-action and, when released, proved to be a thriller-action. 3 Days To Kill was advertised as action, but was a family drama focusing on a father reconnecting with his daughter. [Taken 3](movie:678612) proved to be more 3 Days To Kill than Lucy.
How about Megaton? Megaton has built a career on creating poorly crafted action films. With a decently sized directing resume, you'd think that Megaton could control a cast and crew. Instead, the crew members are piss-poor at their jobs, while the cast does their own thing. The only person that listens to Megaton is Neeson, but Neeson is so bored with his role that he does the bare minimum in acting.
Can we get a screenwriter that can actually write a thrilling, complex action film. Then, we can get a director who has proven that he/she can actually direct an action film. For director, I would choose someone who has been in front of the camera during complicated action sequences. My first choice would be Jackie Chan, who has directed many of his best action films (Project A, Police Story, Armour of God). If not Jackie Chan get Gareth Evans. Evans brought energy back into action with his films The Raid: Redemption and Raid 2: Berandal. I would pick Chan and Evans for writing a screenplay, since they have both written the films they went to later direct.
It's a sad fact that the film could have been saved by Neeson yelling out one-liners in every scene. Unfortunately, the best one-liner the audience got was spouted off by Forrest Whitaker and involved bagels. If Megaton and Besson are going to ruin this franchise, they should at least go out in flames. Create a classic 80's-90's action film with Neeson. Bring the one-liners!
There are more problems with this film, but I think these were the big three. If there is a Taken 4, let's just hope it's better than this.
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