Taken 3 (sometimes stylized as TAK3N) is a 2014 English-language French action film directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. It is the third and final installment in the Taken trilogy, and the sequel to the 2008 film Taken and the 2012 film Taken 2. The film stars Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen.
Principal photography began on March 29, 2014 in Los Angeles. In North America, 20th Century Fox released the film on January 9, 2015. The film was released in France on 21 January 2015. Despite being largely panned by critics, the film was a box office success, grossing over $325 million.
Former covert operative, Bryan Mills, visits his daughter Kim, who just discovered she's pregnant, at her L.A. apartment to deliver an early birthday gift. After an awkward visit, he invites his ex-wife, Lenore, to dinner. Although she refused the invitation, she shows up at his apartment revealing her distress over marital problems with her current husband, Stuart, and indicates her desire to be with Bryan, who feels the same way, but says they need to refrain until her marriage is resolved. Later, Stuart visits Bryan and asks him to stay away from Lenore as they attempt to reconcile. Bryan reluctantly agrees.
The following day, Bryan receives a text from Lenore asking to meet him for breakfast and bagels. Bryan agrees, returns from the bagel store to his apartment, and discovers her lifeless body in his bedroom. LAPD units immediately appear, based on an anonymous 911 call, and try to arrest Bryan, who resists and eventually escapes through a large garage floor drain into the public drainage system. Meanwhile, LAPD Inspector Frank Dotzler quickly becomes familiar with Bryan's background and organizes a citywide manhunt.
Bryan retreats to a prepared safe-house that is equipped with weapons and surveillance electronics. He retraces Lenore's travels to a remote gas station-convenience store and finds surveillance footage of her abduction into a van by unidentified men with unique hand tattoos. LAPD detectives arrive at the gas station and arrest him. While in-transit, Bryan frees himself, commandeers and hijacks the police cruiser, escapes, and downloads phone records from LAPD's investigation database onto a thumb drive.
He contacts Kim at Lenore's funeral via his former covert co-workers and friends instructing her to maintain her "daily routine". She purchases her daily yogurt drink which is marked "Drink Me Now". She ends up feeling nauseated in class, and runs to the restroom where Bryan is waiting and surprises her (he had put a drug in the drink, and now gave her an antidote). Bryan removes a surveillance bug that, unknown to her, was planted by Dotzler. He tells her that he is looking for the real murderer and that she should keep safe. She tells her father that she is pregnant and that Stuart is acting scared and hired bodyguards which he has never done before.
Bryan tails Stuart's car but is ambushed and pursued by another SUV, and his car is pushed over the edge of a cliff. He survives the crash, hijacks a ride, follows the attackers to a roadside liquor store and kills them. Bryan then abducts and interrogates Stuart, who confesses that his failure to repay a debt to a former business partner and ex-Spetsnaz operative named Oleg Malankov was the reason Lenore was killed and that he exposed Bryan's identity to Malankov out of jealousy.
With assistance from his old teammates and a nervous Stuart, Bryan gains entry to Malankov's heavily secured penthouse. After killing the guards, a furious gun battle, and brutal fight, a mortally wounded Malankov reveals that Stuart tricked them both. Stuart planned Lenore's murder and framed Bryan as part of a business deal to collect on a $12M insurance policy. When Malankov failed to kill Bryan, Stuart used Bryan to kill Malankov and remove all threats. Meanwhile, Stuart shoots Bryan's ally, Sam, and abducts Kim, intending to flee with the money. Under police pursuit, Bryan arrives at the airport in Malankov's Porsche as Stuart's plane is taxiing toward takeoff. After colliding with the plane, Bryan overpowers Stuart and prepares to kill him but pauses at Kim's pleas. He informs Stuart to expect final punishment if he escapes justice or completes a reduced prison sentence. Dotzler and the LAPD arrive to arrest Stuart.
Afterwards, Kim and her boyfriend tell Bryan if their unborn baby is a girl, they choose to name her "Lenore". Bryan approves and says, "She'd like that very much".
- Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills
- Forest Whitaker as Inspector Frank Dotzler
- Maggie Grace as Kim Mills
- Famke Janssen as Lenore Mills-St. John
- Dougray Scott as Stuart St. John
- Sam Spruell as Oleg Malankov
- Leland Orser as Sam Gilroy
- Jon Gries as Mark Casey
- David Warshofsky as Bernie Harris
- Jonny Weston as Jimmy
- Donald Patrick Harvey as Detective Garcia
- Dylan Bruno as Detective Smith
- Al Sapienza as Detective Johnson
On 28 September 2012, Liam Neeson said that there would not be a third film, or that the chances of Taken 3 happening were minimal. Later, on 9 October 2012, Taken and Taken 2 writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen told Hollywood that Fox wanted them to do a third film, but it would go in another direction. As of 24 June 2013, the script was being written by the film writers, but no director was set. On 12 March 2014, Maggie Grace joined the cast, followed by closing a deal with Famke Janssen the next day. On 24 March 2014, Leland Orser also returned to play his character, as did Jon Gries. On 31 March 2014, Jonny Weston signed on to appear in the film as Kim's boyfriend.
Principal photography of the film began on 29 March 2014 in Los Angeles, as well as in Atlanta. On 8 April 2014, Neeson was spotted shooting some scenes in Los Angeles. On 24 April 2014, filming began in Covington, Georgia, where they filmed scenes at Newton College & Career Academy lasting for two days on 24 to 25 April.
On 30 September 2014, Nathaniel Méchaly was set to score the film.
A trailer of Taken 3 was released on September 30, 2014. The film had its premier on December 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The film saw its release on January 1, 2015 in markets like Hong Kong, South Korea; on January 8, the film was released in UK, in Spain on January 16, in France on January 21 and on February 12 in Italy.
20th Century Fox released the film on 9 January, 2015 in the United States. The film was released under the title of "Taken 3 - L'ora della verità" in Italy, "Búsqueda implacable 3" in Mexico, "V3nganza" in Spain, "96 Hours - Taken 3" in Germany and "Заложница 3" in Russia.
Taken 3 employed a "somewhat unconventional" marketing strategy with business-focused social network LinkedIn selecting one fan to have his or her "particular set of LinkedIn skills" endorsed by Liam Neeson's character Mills (a nod to a line in the first film, where Mills outlined his "very particular set of skills").
Box office Edit
Taken 3 has grossed $89.1 million in North America and $236.5 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $325.6 million, against a budget of $48 million.
In North America, the film earned $14.7 million on its opening day (including previews) which is the fourth-highest opening day for a film released in January behind 2015's American Sniper ($30.5 million), 2008’s Cloverfield ($17.16 million) and 2012’s The Devil Inside ($16.8 million). It topped the box office in its opening weekend with $39.2 million against a $38 – $39 million projection. This made it the second highest debut in the Taken franchise behind Taken 2 ($49 million) and the fourth-highest January opening of all time behind American Sniper ($89.2 million), Ride Along ($41.5 million) and Cloverfield ($40.1 million).
Outside North America, the film opened a week prior to its US debut in Korea and Hong Kong, and earned $8 million and $1.27 million respectively, for a total of $9.34 million. In its actual opening weekend outside of North America, the film was #2 behind Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb earning $41 million from 4,730 screens in 36 markets. Highest international openings were witnessed in the UK and Malta ($10.86 million) and Australia ($4.8 million). It also went #1 in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. The film opened to first place in the UK with $5.5 million, and debuted in Germany with $4.4 million, Russia with $2.2 million, Philippines with $2.5 million, which is the second-biggest opening ever for 20th Century Fox and Spain with $1.2 million.
Critical response Edit
Taken 3 has been widely panned by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a rating of 9%, based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 3.4/10, becoming the worst-rated film of the trilogy. The site's critical consensus reads, "Hampered by toothless PG-13 action sequences, incoherent direction, and a hackneyed plot, Taken 3 serves as a clear signal that it's well past time to retire this franchise." On Metacritic the film has a score of 26 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times gave the film a negative rating, writing, "The logy screenplay, by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, sags under head-clutchingly banal dramatic scenes. Only Mr. Neeson's appeal somehow survives unscathed, perhaps the most impressive stunt of all". Maggie Lee of Variety also went negative for the film, saying, "The third and presumably final installment of the Liam Neeson action franchise is a mind-numbing, crash-bang misfire". Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times giving the film a negative review, writes, "Taken 3 is so unintentionally hilarious I couldn't help but wonder - do movie contracts carry a humiliation bonus clause these days?" Joe Neumaier of New York Daily News gave the film 0 stars out of 5, saying, "Here it's the audience that gets taken".
Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle gave the film 2 stars out of 4, saying, "If you love the other Taken movies, you will like this. But if you're determined to love it, you'll have to talk yourself into it - and even then, it might not work". Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The AV Club gave the film a C- grade, stating, "Because Mills' hyper-competence never seems exciting, it instead becomes giggle-inducing". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 0 stars out of 4 stars, commenting, "Be warned, sequel fanboys: This thing sucks! At 62, Neeson still has a glare that means badass. Nothing else makes a damn lick of sense. The only thing getting taken is the audience".
Conversely, the film received a more positive review from Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, who gave the film a grade of C, saying, "All you need to know about Taken 3 is that Liam Neeson survives an explosive car crash - twice". Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly also went positive with the review by giving the film a B- grade, commenting, "It's the weakest of the trilogy, but Taken 3 kicks just hard enough to survive another day".
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