My Week in Movies – January 15th

This week, Liam Neeson returns for one last Taken.

Taken 3

In the latest (and possibly last) installment in the Taken series, director Olivier Megaton and producer Luc Besson break away from the kidnapping premise that’s been so integral to spurring Bryan Mills (Neeson) into action. Instead they go for broke by killing Lenny (Famke Jansen), Bryan’s awkwardly close ex-wife, which sends him on his rampage across Los Angeles. While Neeson performs admirably in a franchise that is clearly flagging, it’s Forest Whitaker as Inspector Dotzler who is the film’s true star. His performance is outstanding and I agree with my fellow Conquistador, Charles, that Dotzler is the best thing about this film. Whitaker aptly portrays an investigator I would gladly put my faith in if I were a suspect for a murder I did not commit. Mills, on the other hand, is mostly a single-minded rampaging lunatic. I understand his need for revenge, I’m just not sure it’s properly channeled by the character or sympathetically displayed by the director. I was mostly disappointed by everyone else in the movie. Maggie Grace’s Kim Mills gained some skills in the last movie and used them ever so briefly, but I wouldn’t mind a larger role for her in the future if they do decide to continue plugging movies into this franchise.

Watch it: If you’re a fan of Whitaker, or Neeson rampaging about.
Skip it: If you’re looking for multiple nuanced performances.