Film review: Taken 3 (12A, 109 mins) Action/Thriller/Romance

Taken 3: Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace
Taken 3: Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace

Neeson growls his way to all-action stardom

History repeats with predictably calamitous consequences in Olivier Megaton’s high-octane thriller Taken 3.

In previous films, former Special Forces operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) single-handedly brought down an Albanian human trafficking ring and its underworld offshoots.

He left devastation and an impressive double-digit body count in his wake.

Scriptwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen attempt to convince us that the third film is different from its predecessors by engineering a murderous twist that transforms good guy Bryan from righteous hunter into wanted fugitive. However, once the turbo-charged car chases and bruising fisticuffs begin in earnest, Taken 3 eases back into a familiar bloodthirsty groove and delivers a cacophonous conclusion to the franchise that has reinvented Neeson as an action star.

Megaton orchestrates the set pieces with brio, sacrificing plausibility at the altar of increasingly outlandish thrills and spills.

On this evidence, nothing short of a direct hit from a nuclear warhead could stop Taken 4 A Ride coming to a multiplex near you soon.

Star rating: 6/10