The first Taken was a legitimately great action movie about a weary father who traversed hell and highwater to rescue his kidnapped daughter from some vaguely ethnic European sex-slavers. The second Taken was a legitimately watchable action movie about a father and ex-husband who had to rescue his wife and daughter from another set of kidnappers, only this time he has to do it in Istanbul. Will the third Taken continue the franchise's downward slide or will it mark an uptick in the series? Read on to see.
00:01:07 – First vaguely European bad guy: that's a promising start.
00:01:20 – WE ALREADY HAVE SOMEONE BEING TAKEN. REPEAT: TAKENINGS ARE OCCURRING
00:01:45 – Still can't believe this movie went from ZERO to TAKEN in less than two minutes. Truly, Taken 3 is the Lamborgini of kidnapping flicks.
00:03:35 – The guy who was taken two minutes ago is now being locked in a safe by the vaguely European guys. Now he's being shot. And just like that we've gone from ZERO to TAKEN to MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD. I feel like this still counts as a kidnapping even though he was killed before he could be held for ransom because our victim was TAKEN to his place of death in the trunk of a car.
00:04:12 – Forest Whitaker's name just popped up in the credits. Huh, didn't know he was in this. I wish that his presence was a guarantee of artistic integrity but I think that boat's already sailed? It's been awhile since I've seen a FW movie that I liked. Then again, he was in Bloodsport so this movie could still be fun.
00:05:10 – Taken 3 was directed by a guy named MEGATRON? Wait, no, that was Oliver Megaton. You measure bomb-power in Megatons right? I guess that's a cool nom-de-film but it is not as cool as being a FREAKING TRANSFORMER.
00:05:11 – Have I used caps lock a bit too much already? Nah, this shit is TAKEN THREE SON
00:05: 49 – Uh Oh. Liam Neeson's baby girl is on a toilet looking at a pregnancy test. I wonder if she's... already TAKEN it? All kidding aside though he's probably about to murder some random dude who slept with his daughter
00:06:01 – Liam just showed up at his daughter's house with a gigantic stuffed panda – you know, like good parents do when their children are old enough to afford their own apartment and take their own pregnancy tests. Also, he was holding it out like the panda was the one who rang the doorbell, not him, which is cute, but maybe not a stylistic match for a movie about an anti-terrorist killing machine?
00:06:14 – If this is how he looks at his daughter then goddamn I do not want to know how he looks at would be TAKERS.
00:06:31 – The daughter also thinks the panda is weird because she isn't seven anymore. Good for her. Liam says that she should keep it for when she has a seven year old of her own. DOES HE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT HER INCOMING FETUS INFESTATION?
00:06:45 – We meet the daughter's boyfriend. He looks like a nice enough chap. Too bad Liam Neeson is gonna murder him with a freaking panda in like 30 seconds
00:07:15 – Boyfriend is named Timmy and is also still alive. WTF y'all
00:07:54 – The daughter is refusing to drink her birthday champagne. Is Liam going to realize that's a clue to the fact that her fallopian tubes have been TAKEN over by SPERMATOZOA (I think that's how pregnancy works)
00:08:45 – Liam leaves the daughter's apartment and calls his ex-wife, who is talking to him while driving a sports car. I am not a betting man but I would bet you money that this car is used in some sort of grocery store trip later in the film? I am just kidding, this car is definitely going to be destroyed in some sort of insane chase scene
00:08:54 – Liam asks his ex-wife “when did [our daughter] grow up?” and I am amazed that she doesn't respond with “well, she grew past the stuffed panda phase fifteen years ago.” Their marriage seems to be on better terms than it was in the start of the first Taken movie. I barely remember Taken 2 but I'm guessing that her getting TAKEN and then him UN-TAKEN-ING her probably really helped them grow as a couple.
00:09:17 – She is refusing to meet him for dinner so they must not be that close after all.
00:09:35 – XX song on the soundtrack. NICE. Oh, and the wife shows up at his house for dinner... And his front door was just open? WTF! He is slipping! Terrorists could totally have entered his house, which seems like a thing he would not allow! THIS MOVIE SHOULD BE CALLED “TAKEN LIBERTIES WITH THE BASIC TRAITS OF WELL ESTABLISHED CHARACTERS”
0011:00 – Uh oh, the ex-wife is mad at her current husband Stewart... So mad in fact that she is trying to get back with Liam. Maybe he left the front door open because he could smell her horny hormones over the phone? He said he had a “very specific” set of skills in the first movie. Is smelling people's true intentions over the phone one of them?
00:12:13 – Liam is sending her away because he's a gentleman who will only pork his ex-wife after she's officially divorced from husband #2. He does, however, give her a tracking device in case she gets into an trouble. I cannot imagine that will be relevant later.
00:13:10 – Liam is now golfing with his buds and the music is terrible. It's been ten minutes since someone was murdered. Godamnit, Taken 3 you need to get back to TAKING and UNTAKING people.
00:14:40 – Post-golf Liam meets his daughter at a diner. She is trying to ask for Liam's advice on the impending child, but before she can spring it on him a kid at another table starts acting up. He grows annoyed at the kids antics and his comments about how kids are trouble gives her the cold feet. Even though he was mad at that kid he did not TAKEN it so I consider this scene a disappointment.
00:15:54 – Stewart is now showing up at Liam Neeson's apartment. He wants a man to man chat. Man to man? Doesn't he realize that Liam Neeson is a superhuman? I feel like he's selling ol' L-dizzle short.
00:17:00 - Stewart asks Liam to stay away from his wife. The air in the room grows cold, and yet... no murders happen. Somewhere that body in the safe is getting lonely. He wants company, damnit!
00:18:41 – Uh oh, the ex-wife is texting Liam to ask for a secret meeting... and we cut to a shot of the vaguely European dude from the opening scene as he cases the ex-wife's house. I suspect bad things are afoot. But will those bad things be... TAKINGS?
00:19:11 – Liam walks into her house carrying a bag of bagels... kicks a knife on the floor... then finds her lying prone on the bed. UH OH TAKENING IS ABOUT TO COMMENCE
00:19:47 – Before Liam can properly address the situation the cops arrive on the scene. Liam instantly realizes that someone is trying to frame him for murder... I feel like this plot development is going to seriously delaying TAKENING because he's not gonna -
00:20:15 – Uh, take that back. He just whomped the shit out of three cops, then he jumped out of a second story window, bounced off a dumpster and then ran away.
00:21:12 – For a dude who is in his mid-60s Liam Neeson is surprisingly good at foot chasing. Of course, creative editing might be involved but – wait, he just ran inside of someone's house. Do people just not lock their doors in L.A.? Everything I've heard from Dr. Dre makes it sound that like that is a bad idea. LOCK YOUR HOUSES ANGELINOS, LIAM IS ON THE LOOOOOSE
00:22:33 – Liam went into these random people's garage, moved some boards and found direct access to a sewer? Wait, is that a thing? Do I have sewer access in my garage and I just don't know about it? COULD TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES BREAK INTO MY HOUSE AND TAKEN ME WITHOUT EVEN BREAKING A SWEAT?
00:23:47 – The score is now playing a “my ex-wife just died and I'm trapped in a sewer” sad song and it is awful. Like, it is worse than that situation, and that's saying something, because nobody likes death and sewers.
00:24:21 – Liam calls his daughter to break the news her mom is dead. They could have an "I have a secret" swap-off conversation! A life for a life!
00:24:43 – Liam explains to his daughter that he is being framed and that she should not trust anyone because they could try to “TAKE” her. I hope she listens to him. He may not have any clue about panda etiquette but he totally knows TAKENING etiquette.
00:25:30 – First on screen appearance of Forest Whitaker, who is apparently playing a cop in this movie. FW seems skeptical of the other police officer's work at the crime scene... But then he opens the bag of bagels that Liam left at the crime scene... And then he takes a bite out of one of the bagels? I like free food as much as the next guy but I would probably pass on a murder scene buffet.
00:27:39 – Liam calls a friend to say that he's “going down the rabbithole.” I suspect he'll have a much different trip than Alice did.
00:28:27 – Forest Whitaker is now at the garage that has magical sewer-access. He finds the gun Liam left behind and wonders why he didn't shoot at the cops if he was an armed murderer on the lam... He's been involved in this movie for five minutes and he seems to have already figured out who the real hero of this movie is. Despite his “I like to eat things that aren't mine at murder scenes” attitude he seems like a sharp cookie.
00:29:44 – Liam follows the sewer to some sort of power plant where he assembles his own gun from parts he hid in the walls, but it's just a handgun. I feel like he should have some sort of elephant gun. Or: better yet: an anti-European gun.
00:30:15 – Stewart is now talking to the cops about his wife's death. He explains that Liam probably wanted to be more than friends with her and when she turned him down he had to kill her. Whitaker knows that she had a key to Liam's apartment in her wallet so he smells bullshit. Oh my god what if FW also has a very specific set of skills and he can smell LIES
00:31:52 – The daughter quietly ambles into the bedroom where her mother's body was found and lies down on the bed to cry. These police are pretty chill about her sudden outbreak of Goldilocks-itis. Seriously though there are beds that are too bloody, beds that are not bloody enough and beds that are just the right amount of bloody and this lady needs to realize that she is currently sleeping on the first kind when she should be sleeping on the third.
00:32:30 – Stewart is now at the morgue with FW. He does a real bad job of pretending that he cared about his ex-wife, then he explains that Liam is a violent man who kills Europeans for a living. He's laying it on pretty thickly, but also, it is true, Liam Neeson is a violent weirdo who has totally killed a bunch of dudes. I feel like it should not be that hard to frame a man with this much blood on his hands, but maybe Stewart is an idiot. Well, he did marry Liam's ex-wife while he was still alive, so he's definitely an idiot.
00:34:51 – Incidentally, Liam's wife is played by Famke Jensen who was Jean Grey in the X-Men movies. I am not ruling out a Phoenix-ish return from the grave. Maybe she'll incinerate all the Europeans while Liam is on the sideline cackling like a madman.
00:36:24 – Liam Neeson just got out of the trunk of his own car? I feel like every incident of trunk travel counts as a TAKENING but this one seem dubious to me.
00:37:00 – Liam is now downloading her car's GPS activity to some sort of device. I am sure that somewhere Edward Snowden is frowning... But Snowden probably won't say anything about it because he is currently in Russia and Liam Neeson is not a fan of Russians or anyone else on the European continent.
00:38:35 – Apparently the ex-wife drove out to the middle of nowhere right before she died. Liam decides to track down why she was there... but so are the actual cops who are also investigating her GPS history. I suspect another LAPD beatdown is imminent.
00:40:00 – Liam is looking at the security cam footage from the gas station where she was last seen alive. He can see that she pulled up and parked... but then the security camera footage is blurry... and now the cops are interrupting him right as he's watching her body get sucked into an unmarked van. Oh man, that is seriously awful timing on their part – they are totally cock-blocking him right as he was on the edge of a TAKENING climax.
00:40:48 – Before he gets handcuffed Liam sees that there is a hand hanging out of the side of the mysterious van with a star tattoo on it. I suspect someone with a star tattoo is gonna get their ass whupped.
00:41:15 – I was expecting Liam to get into another fistfight with LAPD but this time he actually letting the cops arrest him? That seems crazy. He might get off on the murder charge but he totally resisted arrest and assaulted some officers. Also how is he going to murder star hands if he's in jail? I am disappointed in his general reasonableness in this situation.
00:42:07 – Forest also can't believe that Liam let himself get arrested. He's telling the other cops that this is probably a trap... right as Liam pulls a shred of metal out of his sleeve that he uses to unlock his handcuffs.
00:43:45 – Liam is now murdering two cops from the backseat of their moving squad car. Bold choice, Liam. I hope you know that decisions like that are going to raise your car insurance rates quite a bit.
00:43:50 – Neesons angry face is majestic like an eagle. Like, a murderous eagle but still an eagle. Well, I guess eagles are actually birds of prey so saying "murderous eagle" might be redundant.
00:44:12 – Liam just ramped the cop car over the median and across three lanes of traffic... But there's a semi coming right at him that has a huge shipping container on it's bed. I wonder what's in that shipping container? Is it full of stuffed pandas? If so that would be thematically relevant.
00:45:25 – Car crashy, car crashy. The driving stunts were cooler when they were set in exotic locations; I've seen high speed chases in L.A. too many times.
00:46:40 – Liam is now driving and downloading something from the cop's computers at the same time. Yeah, his insurance rates are definitely going up. Driving and hacking is dangerous even when police aren't firing shotguns at you.
00:47:40 – Liam Neeson is now trapped in a parking garage with a bunch of cop cars. He is so desperate to escape that he drives his car backwards down an elevator shaft? Hold up. First of all, how did he know that the shaft was the width of his car? And I don't get why he would let the cops arrest him and then instantly be so desperate to get away... Also the car just exploded while he was underneath it so maybe his plan was a terrible plan? Also how could one car possibly have enough much fuel in it to cause a seven story explosion? Seriously, the explosion was strong enough to penetrate through concrete and be visible from space.
00:48:17 – Forest Whitaker is making a skeptical face and I totally agree with him.
00:48:34 – Somehow Liam got away from that massive explosion in an urban area to some sort of tree lined park? And now he's calling Forest Whitaker who was probably about to call off the manhunt because he probably though Liam was burnt to a crisp? Oh, actually I guess that's not a park it's just a bus station with some trees. Wait, those exist? Anyway, Liam tells Forest that he's trapped in the plot from the Fugitive and that he will totally solve this mess if the cops will just leave him alone for a few days.
00:50:00 – Forest Whitaker knows that Neeson is innocent because he's watching the same security tape of the ex-wife being TAKEN into the unmarked van that Liam saw a few scenes ago. FW's reaction to star-hands' hands doesn't fill me with nearly the same amount of "somebody's about to get their ass whupped!" anticipation.
00:51:21 – Liam Neeson just wandered into the morgue and took a lock of his dead wives' hair. He then takes the hair to a friend and asks them to analyze it. Totally normal request.
00:52:08 – FW is observing the wife's funeral and tells another cop to turn up the audio on their surveillance so he can hear what random dudes are telling the daughter. Somewhere Edward Snowden is frowning right now, but this time he's not afraid. He'll take down FW if he has to.
00:53:09 – Uh oh, the guy Neeson gave the hair to just threatened the daughter. Who knew that someone who would anaylze illicitly taken dead people hair for you would end up being sketchy?
00:54:56 – The daughter and Stewart are having harsh words. Will she TAKEN him? Not a lot of pregnant ladies are up to the task of TAKENING their stepdads, but I believe in her. She has Liam's DNA, after all.
00:55:41 – The ex-wife and Stewart live in a million dollar mansion but they make their daughter drive a tiny 70s hatchback? I call bullshit. But will the hatchback survive the movie in better condition than her mom's sportscar? I'm rooting for it. It has probably had a harder life.
00:56:59 – The daughter has a routine where she stops at the same corner store every day to buy a yogurt... And she goes to do that... and finds a note on the yogurt that says “drink me now”. Is she about to go down the rabbit hole, too?
00:57:40 – FW is eating another bagel and playing with a chess piece. SYMBOLISM Y'ALL
00:58:15 – The cops have now trailed the daughter to her college class. They are listening to her science lecture somehow. Where is the microphone that is transmitting this audio? Have textbooks radically changed since I was in school? Do they work for the man now?
00:59:13 – Forest Whitaker is now investigating the corner store. He sees the yogurt can in a trash can, he sees the note, then LICKS THE YOGURT HE JUST PULLED OUT OF THE TRASH TO SEE IF IT WAS FRESH. NO FW BAD FW. Bagels are one thing but that was a dairy product.
00:59:50 – Liam has just TAKEN his daughter into a bathroom stall by force. That's not where I saw the next TAKENING occurring. He said he put something in the yogurt that would make her nauseous so that she would go near the bathroom so he could talk to her in private. There has to be a less roundabout way to talk to her? Anyway, he gives her an antidote to make her less queasy.
1:00:45- The daughter tells him she's pregnant. Does he feel remorse now that he knows that he might have poisoned his grandchild? Does he think "Oh, I didn't need to drug her because the morning sickness would have made her queasy anyway?" Does he think "I probably shouldn't drug my daughter full stop?"
Anyway he responds to the news of the pregnancy by saying that he has low blood sugar – he hasn't eaten since yesterday. (Did the sewer trip take away his appetite?) Wait – he had to go into a that convenience store to put a post it note on a yogurt. Why didn't he buy any food there? So he just walked into a store in broad daylight, left a note on some food, and then didn't buy anything? What did the guy behind the counter think? Does he just carry post-it notes with him wherever he goes? Why does he carry those but not food? Seems impractical to me.
01:01:28 – Liam tells her to “act natural” because anything out of the ordinary would “arouse suspicion.” So a 60 year old man hanging around the women's bathroom in a college science building is not “suspicious”?
01:02:20 – The daughter narced on Stewart to Liam - she thinks he has been a total asshole of late. I suspect that Liam's anti-Stewart boner didn't need much encouragement.
01:03:14 – The cops kick down the stall door but Liam has disappeared. Is he back in the sewer? If so, how did he get there? Is there a secret tunnel in the bathroom that's human sized? Ugh, the very idea grosses me out.
00:1:03:35 – Liam just took out a college security guard. That's a noticeable step down from the European sex criminals he normally tackles.
01:04:03 – Liam just tossed a grenade into a janitor's closet to create a diversion. Again: committing crimes to prove you aren't a criminal is a bit of a self-defeating mission.
01:05:30 – Forest Whitaker is now grilling the daughter. Their verbal sparring match leads to a stalemate. Was it because he was using his hands to fiddle with some rubber bands in this scene instead of his normal chess piece? If so, he should keep his rook in his hand every time he needs to do some serious strategerizing.
001:06:50 – Car chasey time again – this time an SUV against a sedan. The SUV pushes the sedan over the side of the cliff. The vaguely European guys got out of the SUV and look at the flaming sedan. I forgot they were in this movie; it has been nearly an hour since the last time we saw them.
01:08:20 – Liam just carjacked a passing truck at gunpoint. I can't figure out if he was supposed to have been in the Sedan that just crashed? That would explain why he's in the middle of nowhere... but how did he survive the flaming crash? Was it the same way he survived the other flaming crash? I'm not going to bother to rewind.
01:09:12 – Liam just coldcocked a Russian with a bottle of booze. I'm calling BS on that - he is supposed to have a very specific set of skills but hitting strangers with bottles is a generic skill.
01:09:48 – Now there's a shoot out between Liam and the Russians in the liquor store. This fight scene is less dictated by any story concern and more of a “it's been awhile since we had action” concern – we haven't seen these guys in forever and then he just instantly tracked them down and started murdering them? This film is a lot less focused than the first one, which was basically a series of falling dominoes.
01:10:40 – Ah, the only Russian with a speaking part has a star tattoo on his hand. On the one hand that makes sense - the only villain we've seen is the main villain. But then again: why is Liam fighting star hands at this point? He's the only Russian left alive at the liquor store so I don't like his odds right now, especially since he just tried to stab Liam Neeson in the gut with the barrel of his gun. Technically he did bring a gun to a gun fight, but then he used the gun as if it was a knife, so I still feel like that was pretty dumb.
01:11:44 - Liam just yelled “WHO HIRED YOU?” at star hands. When that didn't get a response he yelled “WHO HIRED YOU” at him in Russian. Star hands refuses to answer, then he puts Liam's gun in his mouth and shoots himself. Well, that's one way to stop an interrogation.
01:12:20 – We immediately cut to Stewart - that can't be a good sign for the people who want Stewart to live through this movie. How would Stewart have gotten involved with the Russian mafia? He was just some random dude in the first movie and all of the other world types we've seen in these movies have been murdered by Liam.
01:13:15 – And now Liam has TAKEN Stewart. Why is he the one TAKING everyone? He's supposed to the UN-TAKER-ER who UN-TAKES people who got TAKEN.
01:13:29 – Now Liam is waterboarding Stewart to get information from him? Stewart reveals that he's in line with the Russians. I feel bad for the stuntmen who had to get waterboarded for that scebe; there's no way to fake that and it's supposed to be legitimately terrible.
01:14:57 – Stewart explains what happened: he had a debt to some mobsters but he knew they were mad at him for the events in Taken 1 and 2 so he sold them Liam's name. It was a win / win for him since he got to cut his debt cut down while also icing his romantic rival. Why did a guy who was living in a million dollar house have to borrow money from the mafia in the first place? I don't care about any of this.
01:16:50 – Liam knows that only he can protect his daughter so he decides to break into his ex-wives house and rescue her. That means that his golf buddies have to neutralize the cops that are guarding the house... so they point guns at the cops' heads and then handcuff them to their cars. The cops are not going to like that... Also apparently Liam stole all of the LAPDs files on this case at some point? Was that what he stole from their in-car computer when he was driving earlier? If so, that was a quick file transfer... How awkward would it have been to only get half the files before the car exploded in an elevator shaft?
01:18:31 – Time for the bad guy's backstory. (By the way we're just meeting star hands' boss, who is apparently the true bad guy of the film.) Apparently he was a Soviet soldier in Afghanistan? That conflict happened in the 80s which means he's probably around sixty years old. Well, Liam's also sixty, so that's fair.
01:19:04 – Stewart is now explaining to Liam how he came to owe money to a thirty year old looking dude who was in a military conflict from thirty five years ago. I DON'T CARE
01:19:54 – Stewart agrees sets up a meeting between Liam and the Russian overlord, then he explains the bad guy's security set up – many, many doors and many, many layers of bodyguards. I suspect that there will be some repetitious action coming up.
01:24:50 – Stewart rolls up to the parking garage and says “I'm here to see the mobster” and the guy says “that's cool” without checking any sort of list. That guard seems real half-assed, but being half-assed in this situation might have saved his life.
01:22:31 – Forest Whitaker is now calling Stewart to warn him that Liam is dangerous. That info probably would have been helpful pre-waterboarding... The cops are tracing the call to Stewart and are now zeroing in on Stewart's location in the mobster's building. I'm smelling a three way Mexican stand off: mob vs cops vs Liam.
01:24:36 – Apparently Stewart put an huge insurance policy on his wife right before she died and Forest Whitaker is just hearing about it now. The cops went to check truck stop security camera footage based on her GPS history first thing but then waited a few days to check on the insurance angle? No wonder FW is always giving them skeptical looks.
01:25:30 – Liam just tasered a dude who was smoking a cig. Dick move, man.
01:26:08 – The mafia henchmen are drinking champagne straight from the bottle and hanging out with a stuffed alligator with a cigar in it's mouth. They know how to party. Then Liam exits an elevator and pokes one of them in the ribs with the barrell of his gun. Did he learn that from star hands? Cause if so he should know that didn't work out so well for him.
01:26:40 – A security guard hears a noise in the hallway and just sprays bullets wildly out his window without poking his head out to look first. The mob boss is going to be pissed if he finds out about that because that sort of tomfoolery is going to cost him his deposit, which I have to assume was a lot because it's a swanky penthouse apartment. The trigger happy guard didn't even hit Liam who was hiding underneath another dead security guard.
01:27:10 – The shoot out in the hallway continues. There is too much space between the combatants for this to be cool - the fun of the first Taken was all the close up hand to hand combat while this is just generic run-and-spray stuff.
01:28:08 – Liam has now murdered all of the henchmen and he's circling the big bad guy who has only been the big bad guy since star hands died,aka about twenty minutes. Liam just tried to kill him by dropping a chandelier on him. You know, if Dorothy had been a swanky urbanite instead of a dirt farmer she might have tried to kill the Wicked Witch of the East like that.
01:29:19 – Now Liam is going mano y mano with the bad guy in the bad guy's sauna room. This Russian mobster isn't exactly intimidating in his tighty whities. He does, however, shoot Liam in the leg... But then he gets outwrestled by a man twice his age. There is nothing about this guy that is impressive.
01:30:30 - Liam warns the monster: “You killed my wife. But you won't kill my daughter.” Then the Russian guy reveals that Stewart was behind this the whole time. Fucking Stewart man. Then the mobster begs for death.. and Liam lets him go? So wait, the key to avoiding Liam's wrath this whole time was just reverse psychology? Or maybe Liam did kill the guy but they just didn't show it clearly because this movie is PG-13? Any way you look at it this scene sucks.
01:32:00 – Now Stewart has taken the daughter hostage... just as the cops show up late to the murder-the-mobsters party. You know what they say, always the bridesmaids, never the guy that gets to murder the bad guy. That doesn't apply to Liam, of course, who has been a bride many times in these movies.
01:22:35 – The more I think about it the more the decision to put the Russian in tighty whities is killing me.
01:34:10 – Liam is stealing Stewart's car and driving it to the final showdown... Which means that the ex-wife's sports car will probably survive this one. I guess I was wrong. On the upside the car never went to the grocery store, either.
01:35:00 – Part of Stewart's motivation for setting this whole scam up is that he thinks that Liam is a psychopath. Again: He isn't wrong.
01:35:43 – Another scene of fast driving in L.A. and it still looks shitty. Forest Whitaker is on the phone with Liam in a vain attempt to get him to stop murdering people. Liam's like “when my daughter is involved not-murdering is not an option.” Check-and-mate FW.
01:36:49 – Stewart is now TAKING the daughter on his private plane. It's certainly a more luxurious TAKING than the first time when she got TAKEN by Eastern European sex slavers but it is also way less compelling. Sex slavers are always going to be more intense villains than stepdads.
01:37:43 – Stewart can't believe that Liam is still chasing him... which means he has not been paying attention in any of these movies.
01:38:13 – Liam just drove Stewart's sports car into the wheels of Stewart's plane. Yeah, the insurance people aren't going to like him once this movie is over. (Why isn't this movie over?)
01:38:45 – Stewart tries to use the daughter as a human shield but she instantly hits him in the gut and runs away. As soon as she is clear Liam shoots him. That was a very quick hostage situation.
01:39:40 – Stewart taunts Liam - “The cops are coming you can't kill me now.” Liam is still prepared to kill him but his daughter reminds him “um, I'm right here dad, please don't murder my stepfather in cold blood right in front of me. I want to remember you as Mr. Panda, not as Mr. Homicide.” Liam does put down the gun... but then he tells Stewart that the instant that Stewart gets out of prison Liam will track him down and kill him. This is the sort of solid emotional payoff you get in a PG-13 Taken movie I guess.
01:40:47 – Forest Whitaker is new debriefing Liam. He explains that he knew that Liam was innocent of his ex-wife's murder because of the bagels at the crime scene - apparently no one brings fresh food over to their ex-wife's house before they kill her. Then FW says “by the way I could bust you for stealing our entire database but I won't because who cares?” This movie is extremely accurate!
01:42:00 – I guess Liam is walking away, massive damage to police men and property notwithstanding. Good deal if you can get it.
01:42:27 – Ah, reason why Forest Whitaker is always playing with rubberbands is revealed – he writes the case name on it and then wraps it around the file when it's closed. This might be the only plot thread that had a reasonable wrap-up in this whole misbegotten mess.
01:42:40 – Liam tells his daughter that he will let her have her baby in peace if that's what she wants, and we seem to be heading to the wrap-up... Huh. Up until this point Fargo was the only movie I'd ever seen where a main character was pregnant for the entire film without ever giving birth. That's a weird twosome.
01:43:00 -Oliver Megaton's name reappears and we're out. I still don't like the name Megaton.
Well, that was extremely disappointing - it lacked all of the flavor that made the first Taken fun. It felt like a generic action movie and not even a very good one at that. Adios, Taken franchise - you had your charms while you lasted, but I don't think I will miss you now that you are gone.
Winner: The Cat