Taken 3 is the third and latest installment to the Taken trilogy, directed by Olivier Megaton (who succeeded Pierre Morel since Taken 2) and produced/written by Luc Besson (other works including Nikita, Nil By Mouth and The Fifth Element). While Taken 1 effectively tackled human trafficking and Taken 2 got much better, what could we expect from Taken 3? A slight step backwards.
While his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is at college, retired CIA agent, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), re-enters a relationship with his divorced wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), after experiencing marital problems with her new husband. One day, Bryan finds Lenore dead in his apartment and is later framed for her murder. So he embarks on another dangerous mission to prove his innocence, track down the real murderers and dodge his former colleagues from the U.S. authorities who attempt to capture him.
Taken 3 does not exactly comply to the title. The first film was simply about a CIA agent attempting to rescue his teenage daughter and her friend, who are abducted by human traffickers who want them for sexual slavery while trying to spend a vacation in France, hence ‘Taken’. Taken 2 saw Bryan getting captured by the father of Kim’s kidnapper, who wishes to avenge his son’s death. This also complied to the title. As for Taken 3, there are at least two abductions in the film, but the main synopsis centres on a man, who is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and struggling to clear his name. This doesn’t really relate to the title, but the scene where Bryan observes footage of Lenore getting thrown in a van does serve as a plot point, as does the finale which involves a brief abduction and an exciting car chase.
However, the characters are more developed and we can still relate to the father/daughter relationship between Bryan and Kim. Bryan often worries about Kim getting into trouble, which is understandable for he is both a family man and a former CIA agent. Kim on the other hand is sometimes frustrated with her dad’s constant concerns, but feels vulnerable each time she hears what has happened to her family or when she is put in danger. The scene where she hears about her mother is also heart-breaking. We learn from all three films that Bryan and Kim love each other very much, which is a common factor for a typical family. The scene where Kim is reunited with Bryan in the middle of the film is heart-warming and she does happily offer support.
Overall, Taken 3 may not have the strongest storyline compared to the first two, but will definitely appeal to fans of the Taken franchise and fans of action movies.