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Taken 3 (Blu-ray Review)

6 May, 2015 By: John Latchem

Box Office $89.21 million
$29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of violence and action, and for brief strong language. Unrated version also available.
Stars Liam Neeson, Forest Whittaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser.

At this point in Liam Neeson’s career, he’s so established as an aging action star (at 62) that the only question left is when he’ll wind up in an “Expendables” movie.

The third “Taken” movie takes for granted the conceits of the first two movies, that Neeson’s Bryan Mills will use his skills as a former covert operative to defend his family at any cost. However, this installment severs itself from the continuing storyline of Neeson taking out European sex traffickers, offering a new plot centered on a Russian hitman framing Mills for murdering Mills’ ex-wife (Famke Janssen).

With authorities closing in, Mills goes on the hunt for the real killer while trying to ensure the safety of his daughter (Maggie Grace).

The result is a by-the-numbers actioner in which the twists are predictable and the outcome is never in doubt. As with the first two “Taken” movies, Neeson gets to be just as badass as he needs to be to take out the villains. The most intriguing twist this time around is that it’s set in Los Angeles and not some foreign city, which pits Mills against a determined LAPD homicide detective (Forest Whittaker).

The plot might owe more to “The Fugitive” than the franchise’s own formula, but at least the stateside setting allows Mills to team up with his former covert buddies, a fun development that gives them much more to do than the other two movies.

Among the Blu-ray’s rudimentary extras are a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes running less than five minutes each, a handful of deleted scenes that are mostly the extended original footage of some flashback montages, and an intricately produced CGI tour of all the goodies stashed away at Mills’ secret Rabbit Hole hideout.

The Blu-ray’s unrated version of the film runs about seven minutes longer than the theatrical.

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