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Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109/115 minutes
Genre: Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Music by: Nathaniel Mechaly
Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 21, 2015


"It ends here"


My Take:

The hunter becomes the hunted when Liam Neeson returns as former CIA operative Bryan Mills, who finds himself framed for the brutal murder of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). Consumed with rage, and pursued by a savvy police inspector (Forest Whitaker), Mills must rely on his “particular set of skills” one last time to find the real killers, clear his name, and protect the only thing that matters to him now — his daughter (Maggie Grace).

In Taken we watched Bryan Mills stop at nothing to save his daughter Kim from disappearing forever at the hands of kidnappers seeking to sell her into sex slavery.

Taken 2 picked up two years later when the father of one of the villains Bryan killed swears revenge, and takes him and his ex-wife “Lenny” hostage in Istanbul. Without his weapons and the assistance of his former CIA support staff Bryan must enlist and rely on the only person he can if they hope to survive, his daughter Kim. Bryan then employs his unique tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers, one by one.

I liked Taken. It’s not profound filmmaking but it drew upon our inherent ruthlessness when faced with the prospect of protecting a loved one. As a father with a teenage daughter I easily identified with Bryan’s raw sense of emotion and unrelenting determination. The script did an nice job of conveying the relationships necessary to the plot and later ramping up the action. It was kick-butt action coupled along with a decent story and strong central character.

Taken 2 was just plain silly so when I saw that a third installment was forthcoming I didn’t hold out much hope. Taken 3 doesn’t approach the raw, visceral and engaging fun of the original however it is better than the second installment. The problem here is a simple one, repetition. This is simply a rehashing of what we have seen from the franchise before. There are one or two minor tweaks and an attempt at a twist but at the end of the day it’s Bryan and his particular set of skills against insurmountable odds in defense of those he loves.

Truth be told, I like the character and Liam Neeson’s portrayal of him so watching Taken 3 wasn’t too difficult. Outside of Neeson, Maggie Grace and Dougray Scott there wasn’t much for the other members of the cast to do, other than take their lumps and/or chase the three of them around. I would say that the Taken franchise is getting a bit long in the tooth. I can’t see another entry unless there is a reworking of the narrative threads that move away from the character having to constantly defend his daughter from world class bad guys.

Both the theatrical and unrated versions are included with the latter adding approximately 6 minutes to the original’s runtime.



Parental Guide:

Both versions of the film contain intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Taken 3 comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.

This is an excellent video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, bold use of contrast, natural colors and excellent dimension. Blacks are punchy with good dynamic range and discernible gradational highlights. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are snappy, clearly drawn, eye catching and perfectly suited for the source material. Any softening is innate and strictly limited to the film’s visual style.


This Lossless DTS-HD MA surround mix makes regular use of the entire system to drive the film’s elements. This is a well-balanced and fairly active soundtrack that augments the thematic impact associated with the films action and music score. The surround channels are sporadically engaged with a blend of discretely placed sounds and spatial ambience. Dynamic range is extended and accents the high level of sonic detail present in the recording. I never had any trouble discerning subtle vocal inflections or the presence of low level sounds that were contained in the background. The mix facilitates natural integration of the front and rear channels which creates a stable and well-proportioned listening experience that is complimented by rich bass that has good palpability and tight extension. My only complaint is that the volume of the mix appeared lower than usual. This required an 8db to 10db increase over my normal listening levels.


Bonus Features:
  • Theatrical and Unrated versions of Taken 3
  • (HD) Deleted scene
  • (HD) Sam’s bunker AKA “The Rabbit Hole” – An interactive look at the operative items used by Brian in the film
  • (HD) Taken to L.A. – 4 minute production featurette
  • (HD) A Taken legacy – 5 minute featurette
  • (HD) Gallery
  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Taken 3 is third installment in the Taken film series that started with the 2008 original, a top notch action flick that kicks butt and takes no prisoners. While better than the second film this effort fails to capture the freshness of the original and is more or less a rehashing that does little to distinguish itself. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and a middling supplemental package that includes both versions of the film, interactive content and a few production featurettes. If you are a fan of the original Taken 3 is probably worth checking out on Blu-ray. Be sure to rent first and keep expectations in check.







Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
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Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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SVS PC12-NSD
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We watched this last week, I was late getting in to the Taken series having "caught up" in the last few months before 3 came out. Enjoyable popcorn movie, can't really see this series go any further either given the circumstances in this movie.
 

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I'll be picking this one up for the sole purpose that I already have the other two and feel the need to place the next to the others. I agree the original is leaps and bounds better than the second.
Just curious Ralph, at what SPL level and volume setting do you usually set your AVR to when you review BD's?
 

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Are they lining up for Taken 4? ...Because I think one was good enough...but this is life...lack of imagination to create new stuff. ...Easy money?

That's my take. ...On this 'Taken' franchise. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll be picking this one up for the sole purpose that I already have the other two and feel the need to place the next to the others. I agree the original is leaps and bounds better than the second.
Just curious Ralph, at what SPL level and volume setting do you usually set your AVR to when you review BD's?

Greetings,

I generally listen right around 8db to 10db below reference.


Regards,
 

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I was going to get it because I have the first two. However, I am sick and tired up supporting hypocritical actors and the dumb political statements they make. No money from me, I am sure it won't impact the sales, but I have to start somewhere.
 

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I agree with the majority.

It is one thing to be a teenager and disregard your parents advice, ONCE. To do the same in part 2 was totally stupid and made that one a stinker. This part 3 is better in the sense that it followed a different path, still no Third Man or North by Northwest, but not as bad as some critics want us to believe. I like everything Luc Besson does - see comment to Lucy - so I had to get this one as well.

cheers

P.S. Good review as always.
 

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I'm a fan of Liam, easily amused and not too picky but I watched this last night and it was horrible.. Let's pray for no 4 :)

Rick
Gonna have to agree here....maybe not horrible but not good at all. It felt disjointed...just a thrown together paper thin story. I didn't feel for any characters here. They said this was the last one and it needs to be.


I do feel, however, Sam Spruell makes a most excellent bad guy.
 

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I went to see this movie when it came out because it was playing locally in a Dolby Atmos theater. I was underwhelmed by the SQ and my first experience of watching a movie encoded in Dolby Atmos was not great. I figure that I should go and see another movie in another Dolby Atmos theater before I make any long term conclusions about this new audio format. Maybe the new Avengers movie will be a good one to check out this new audio format.


Cal68
 

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It was bad. Just plain bad.
Thankfully I watched it for free on my last flight. Not even worth $2 rental.
 

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Ralph is mainly mostly usually a very generous man when it comes to overall movie ratings (film value). ...Here he gave two and half stars (50%).
Rotten Tomatoes is also quite generous in their average, by say 10 to 20% over positive. ...So far 'Taken 3' is below 10% (that would mean below zero).

So, my way of calculating this is like this: There are so many movies out there and so little time, we're all free to catch the better ones and not. :)

And when a movie is so bad, like 'The Interview' for example; we become so vulnerable and easily influential that no one can predict what's next.
I've seen 'Taken' ...the first one, and 'Taken 2' (got them both on Blu). ...There was no need for the second one, but I will watch the third one, just for curiosity, without any taken expectation for granted.
 

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I got taken with Taken 3!!
I like near any movie with Liam Neeson, but this one was stretching my likeablity.
Good actors and acting, just bad story and script, but I've seen worse.
 

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Ralph is mainly mostly usually a very generous man when it comes to overall movie ratings (film value). ...Here he gave two and half stars (50%).
Rotten Tomatoes is also quite generous in their average ratings, by say 10 to 20% overrated. ...So far 'Taken 3' is below 10% right now (that would mean below zero).

So, my way of calculating this is like this: There are so many movies out there and so little time, we're all free to catch the better ones and not. :)

And when a movie is so bad, like 'The Interview' for example; we become so vulnerable and easily influential that no one can predict what's next.
I've seen 'Taken' ...the first one, and 'Taken 2' (got them both on Blu). ...There was no need for the second one, but I will watch the third one, just for curiosity, without any taken expectation for granted.
Rotten tomatoes doesn't really rate anything, though...it's just an average of all the critics pos/neg reviews.

Did the first one really come out in 2008?? It's been SEVEN YEARS??????? Holy cow, time really flies when you get older. Anyone have any tips on slowing down this carnival ride?
 

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But the absolute worst thing about this movie (other than script and performances) is truly the editing. Man oh man, why do all new directors think the audience want to see 1 cut every second (in some scenes there are actually 2 cuts per second!). The movie (and many others) are totally destroyed by that much cutting. My head hurts watching it and it is just plain bad and sloppy. We cant possibly see what is happening in the scene. Of course Liam is old and stiff now so a lot of cutting is required to make it look faster, but this movie passes all sensible limits. Of course this kind of editing makes it much easier for directors slapping a movie together. I really, really hope this is a passing trend.
 

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I fixed it for you. ...The average is still below 9%, one digit. ...It's definitely on the negative side.
Yeah, that's pretty darn low lol

I rely on RT quite a bit, taking note to compare the critics avg to the people's avg. Usually when the critics grade is low, I'll still enjoy the film as long as the people's grade is high. A good example recently was When the Game Stands Tall. Critics hated it, but people gave it solid marks, and as a result I enjoyed it.

But the first place I always look is here, cause I think Ralph and I have at least an 85% correlation with regard to our taste in movies. He's by far the one critic I can say that about. Probably Harry Knowles would be 2nd, but with him it's prob closer to about 70-75%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah, that's pretty darn low lol

I rely on RT quite a bit, taking note to compare the critics avg to the people's avg. Usually when the critics grade is low, I'll still enjoy the film as long as the people's grade is high. A good example recently was When the Game Stands Tall. Critics hated it, but people gave it solid marks, and as a result I enjoyed it.

But the first place I always look is here, cause I think Ralph and I have at least an 85% correlation with regard to our taste in movies. He's by far the one critic I can say that about. Probably Harry Knowles would be 2nd, but with him it's prob closer to about 70-75%.
Greetings,

Hey, I'll take those percentages anytime AJ. Thanks buddy.. :)


Regards,
 
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