All you need to know about Taken 3 is that Liam Neeson survives an explosive car crash -- twice. Director Olivier Megaton even rewinds the second blast to show us how his hero escaped. It still doesn't make sense. But who cares.
The Taken franchise is rooted in implausibilities, specifically that a 62-year-old Oscar winner is the baddest mofo on earth. Say what you will about the silliness of the series, but Neeson has always played his ex-military man very seriously. His Bryan Mills is living a drama — it just plays like a comedy. And Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen's script has fun with that contradiction. They may have written an aborted breakfast scene into the film just because Neeson sounds hilarious when he says "bagel."
In an early scene, Mills arrives at the doorstep of his hapless daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) with a giant stuffed panda — the perfect gift from a dear old dad who thinks his baby is still eleven. He's in for a shock: Kim is pregnant. If only Megaton had the courage go sci-fi, with Mills shrinking himself to a cell and slashing her boyfriend's sperm. But women in Taken 3's world serve only one purpose: to be dragged away at gunpoint.
Neeson is in top fighting form, not that you can appreciate his abs in the battle scenes, as the camera plants itself so close to the action that you can't tell where anyone is and whose tibia they're breaking. With all the dangers as chopped up and unassuming as a house salad, the big set pieces are merely a frenetic yawn.