As with the first two films in this dumb but bombastically watchable franchise, writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen seemingly put no effort into writing a script that can even remotely hold water. This is such a boneheaded story that it boggles the mind, eliciting laughter every time it tries to show some emotion or menace. But watching Liam Neeson charge around on a personal mission, cleaning up the criminal underworld in the process, is still rather good fun.
Back home in Los Angeles, former super-spy Bryan (Neeson) is trying to re-bond with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) while waiting for his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) to leave her sweaty but wealthy husband Stuart (Dougray Scott) and come back to him. But this dream is cut short in a twisted act of violence that leaves Bryan as the prime suspect. With Inspector Franck (Forest Whitaker) on his tail, Bryan traverses the city trying to unknot the mystery and find out who the real villain is, so he can clear his name and protect his family. With the help of an old pal (Leland Orser), Bryan manages to taunt and elude the cops at every turn while tracking down the nasty Russian mafioso Malankov (Sam Spruell). But something is clearly not right here.
Instead of centring on one far-fetched kidnapping, pretty much every character in the story gets "taken" at some point in the movie. The film benefits from this break in the formula, creating a relentless pursuit that runs right through the story. So even if the details never remotely ring true, and even if most scenes feel badly contrived, it's thoroughly entertaining to watch Neeson's stand-in stuntman leap across backyard fences or drive like a maniac on the freeway, causing mass carnage in his wake. Sadly, director Olivier Megaton directs and edits the film by chopping scenes into splinters, then reassembling them so they make no sense at all. It's loud and fast and incomprehensible.
Continue reading: Taken 3 Review
It's official: Affleck's Dark Knight will take on Cavill's Man of Steel. Also, the One Direction movie premieres, The Mortal Instruments are released, and a trio of trailers promise tears, laughs and some spectacular Alaskan scenery...
This week's biggest story is that Ben Affleck will play Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, opposite Henry Cavill's Clark Kent (aka Superman). There's no word on the plot or the title of the new film, which is scheduled for release in the summer of 2015. Word has it that the two superheroes will be at odds with each other, setting up some big battles between them. Read all about the epic prospect here.
On Tuesday night, London hosted the world premiere of the new One Direction movie This Is Us, and the screams of pre-pubescent girls could be heard miles away from Leicester Square as the boy band, their manager Simon Cowell and a range of starry guests turned up to walk the red carpet. The film opens next week and you can look at photos from the event here.
Orser is playing with the word mourning, but can he portray it?
Leland Orser makes his directorial debut – and stars – in Morning, a film that focuses on the inner torment of two parents after their child dies. This is five days in the life of Alice (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Mark (Orser) as they attempt to deal with death and forge love once more.
Orser directs for the first time in Morning
Mark’s grief leads him to separation – he cannot stand to be around his wife any more. The opening scene in the trailer sees him sitting in an empty pool -presumably because of the accidental drowning death of their child - on his own. An elderly woman (his mother?) attempts to console him, or at least shelter him from the rain.
There wasn't really anywhere for the story to go after 2008's surprise hit Taken, and this movie quickly proves that. Not only does it have that same appalling moral vacuum at the centre (it doesn't matter how many irrelevant people you torture and kill to rescue your loved one), but the plot becomes increasingly absurd as it progresses. So the only genuine response is weary laughter.
The action picks up shortly after Bryan (Neeson) has recovered from his ordeal in Paris. His daughter Kim (Grace) seems to have forgotten it completely, and soon she and her mother Lenore (Janssen), Bryan's ex, jet off to Istanbul to join him after he finishes a business meeting. But they don't know that the family of the Albanian thugs Bryan killed in France have followed him to Turkey intent on vengeance. They soon grab Bryan and Lenore, so Bryan calls Kim on a secret mobile device and coaches her on how to rescue them. Of course, it gets increasingly messy as the hours tick by.
Perfectly named director Megaton (Colombiana) never bothers to make any sense out of the story, merely charging into each scene with guns blazing and grenades exploding, while suggesting that only unshaven Albanian-looking men get killed in the process. Well, all of them, to be exact. He also delights in presenting shameless stereotypes of Muslims who take their run-down lifestyle with them wherever they go. Meanwhile, the Yanks are efficient and unruffled, speaking in cliched slogans. Neeson sleepwalks through the film, shifting into action mode or hitting the dramatic notes where necessary. Jansson is actually asleep (or unconscious) most of the time. While Grace has the most fun in a series of insane action set-pieces.
Continue reading: Taken 2 Review
Jason Ritter, Todd Traina, Graham Leggat and Leland Orser - Jason Ritter, Todd Traina, Graham Leggat and Leland Orser San Francisco, California - San Francisco Film Festival - Premiere of 'Morning' after party held at Dosa on Fillmore Monday 26th April 2010
Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn - Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn San Francisco, California - San Francisco Film Festival - Premiere of 'Morning' after party held at Dosa on Fillmore Monday 26th April 2010
Brother's Keeper -- not the 1992 documentary about a hillbilly who murders his brother -- is a ridiculously stupid story about a detective who tries to protect her brother despite the fact that he's a serial killer. Standard thriller ensues.
Continue reading: Brother's Keeper (2002) Review
The premise is simple. Kyle (Jon Favreau), Boyd (Christian Slater), Adam (Daniel Stern), Michael (Jeremy Piven) and Charles (Leland Orser) are off to Las Vegas for Kyle's bachelor party. The guys are drunk, and high but it doesn't end there. When the stripper/prostitute comes, things get ugly. When the hooker is having sex with Michael, she accidentally gets a towel hook in her head and dies. Everyone starts to freak out except for Boyd, who decides that the best idea is to bury her in the desert so no one will get in trouble. They do, and after that things start snow balling into other catastrophes.
Continue reading: Very Bad Things Review
Ashley Judd seems to go out of her way to find hole-riddled women-in-peril B-thrillers anymore. It's as if she's doing everything in her power not to be taken seriously as an actress.
After a moving, understated debut in 1993's "Ruby in Paradise," the actress seemed on her way toward award-worthy respect with memorable, compelling small-role performances in "Smoke," "Heat," and "A Time to Kill." Then she threw it all away to become queen of the trashy victim-empowerment genre with "Kiss the Girls," "Double Jeopardy," and "High Crimes," all of which seem promising at first but become tangled beyond salvation in their own ridiculous plot twists.
And thus we come to the appropriately titled murder mystery "Twisted," in which the twists are not only ridiculous, but also so poorly conceived that "the real killer" might as well be walking around in blood-soaked shoes.
Continue reading: Twisted Review