Taken 3 brings an action trilogy to a solid, action-filled but dull end

     With the new year comes new films. Usually, January has a few dull films and one or two “Oscar bait” movies. January is usually a month of forgettable movies right after the end of the holiday rush. Taken 3, the third and final movie of the Taken trilogy, does make improvements from the nose dive the previous sequel made but still shows that the trilogy needed to come to an end.

     In Taken 3, ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills (Nesson) back to leading a normal life by seeing his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), and rekindling his romance with ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). When Lenore is found dead in his home, Mills goes on the run and uses his famed “particular set of skills” to find out who framed him while the LAPD and FBI, led by Inspector Dotzler (Forest Whitaker).

     There. Pretty much in the nutshell is the plot. Of course there are other things that we encounter to keep audiences interested. The synopsis makes you think that the film has made a few tweaks to the winning formula that made the first Taken a success. Unfortunately, this is all smoke and mirrors. Nesson’s Mills has a line that states he is having a hard time piecing the events that has brought him into action. Honestly, that’s how I felt. I figured out the plot early on but then there will be a swerve. You figure it out and then there is another swerve. Honestly, tracking the plot is difficult and might distract audiences from the film.

     You have seen this type of plot before where the hero stays at least a step ahead of everyone else while he finds answers. Nesson’s Mills does that as best he can but then you have to the double-crossing going on with Russian gangster Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell) and shady step-dad Stuart (Dougray Scott). Add in Kim’s discovery (three guesses on what it is) and that’s one too many curveballs.

     Despite these flaws, Nesson once again displays his charisma and staring power to be an action star. Taken 3 does remain entertaining to fans of the series and Nesson is a large part of it. His character’s devotion to his family and protecting them rings true in Nesson’s acting as he uses Mills’ skills to bring down the bad guys. The rest of the credit go to the directing of Oliver Megaton and his well constructed action sets. Clever fight choreography and gun-fights help support the action. You never lose track of Bryan, his enemies, or what is at stake for either side.

     Taken 3 is a solid film all together, definitely an improvement over the first sequel. While it’s not as strong as the first, this film has enough fight to hold its own.

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