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Taken 3 Movie Review


STORY: Bryan Mills (Neeson) lives a quiet life, takes care of his teenaged daughter Kim (Grace) and feels tenderly for his ex-wife Lenore (Janssen), who has been having problems with current husband Stuart (Scott). Lenore is found dead in Bryan's apartment one afternoon and is the cops' chief suspect for her murder. But Bryan's chief objectives are to find Lenore's killers, protect his daughter and prove his innocence.

REVIEW: Mills is not your ordinary tough guy. He possesses deadly skills thanks to his military and CIA background, but is also extremely ethical and discerning about when and how to use those skills. His prime concerns are his ex-wife and daughter. And when someone messes with that, he as we've seen in the previous Taken movies, he finds them and eliminates them.
Screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen smoothly set up a situation that places Mills squarely in the police crosshairs as the Lenore's murderer. The film opens with some Russian mobsters who capture and kill the accountant of a company, the boss of which owes money to the mafia. Meanwhile, Mills visits his daughter ahead of her birthday and Lenore drops in at his place later on as he is making dinner. Everything changes when he comes home to her corpse the next day, after receiving a message from Lenore asking to meet. Thereafter, Mills must evade the cops, seek revenge and protect Kim. Investigating inspector Dotzler's (Whitaker) instincts tell him that all is not what it seems in this case.

What works greatly to the movie's credit is the pacing (never a dull moment here!) and that sense of 'What's going to happen next?' Mills and his group of friends rely heavily on technology to stay ahead of the cops as well as to nab the bad guys. Dotzler and team try to predict what Mills will do next. Spruell's don Malankov, suitably debauched and with a Spetsnaz background, is as nasty and cold-hearted as they come. But Grace's Kim is really the most riveting. All in all, a suitable swansong for the franchise.
Spoiler alert! Read further only if you have seen the film, since the information below reveals the entire plot of the movie.

PLOT SUMMARY

Life seems quiet and peaceful enough for Bryan Mills, who takes care of his daughter Kim with ex-wife Lenore. But the opening of the film actually gives us a clue about what we can expect. A man is seen at home at night, his wife in the other room, when he goes to get himself a glass of water. Three Russian mafia men appear inside and behind him and take him with them. They go to the man's office at night. It turns out that he is the accountant of a man who owes the Russian mob a lot of money. They ask the accountant to open the safe but find nothing inside. The man is shot and left in the safe vault.

Back again to the present day, Lenore visits Mills one night and tells him that she still fantasizes about him. She says that she feels nothing for her current husband Stuart and wants to get back with Mills. The latter tells her to sort out her divorce first before they get physical or start again.

A few days later, Stuart pays a surprise visit to Mills at night and asks Mills to stop talking to Lenore as he really wants to sort out his marriage. Mills agrees. Unbeknownst to him, Stuart sends Lenore a text from Mills' cellphone asking him to meet. Later, Mills gets a text from Lenore, saying that they should meet for bagels and a chat.

When Mills comes home, he is shocked to find Lenore dead with her throat slit and the murder weapon lying close by. The cops bust in and try to arrest him. He however whacks them and escapes, now on the run. He meets up with his old CIA buddies and they harness a lot of technology and gadgetry to help him. Mills realizes that the Russian mob killed his wife but he doesn't know why. He sees footage of her being kidnapped when he goes on to do his own investigation.

The cops think he is the prime suspect but when their own investigation turns up an important fact, they realize that Mills really isinnocent. But Mills won't come with them because it turns out that Stuart now wants to kill his daughter Kim. Apparently both Kim and Margaret have a $12 million insurance bounty on their head and Stuart is broke. By killing them and shifting the blame, he will receive their insurance amount and be solvent again. However, he allows the mob money and therefore, by playing Mills against the Russian mob and hoping that the two kill each other off, he will also, in one fell swoop, get rid of his enemies.

When Mills confronts the Russian mob boss Oleg Malankov, the dying Malankov confirms this. After the latter dies, Mills goes after Stuart who has kidnapped Kim and attempts to fly away with her in his private jet. Mills stops the plane from taking off in the nick of time and rescues his daughter. Later, Mills is absolved of all suspicion by the cops and Kim, who had introduced her dad to her boyfriend early in the movie, tells him that she would like to name her baby (she discovered she was pregnant early on in the movie), if it is a girl, after her mother.
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