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
John D'Leo, Luc Besson and Talia Besson - Shots of a variety of stars as they arrived for the Los Angeles premiere of the action drama movie 'Unbroken' directed by Angelina Jolie. The premiere was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 15th December 2014
Strong characters and a vivid sense of life in frontier America give this film a kick of authentic energy that makes it a gripping journey. While it may be a little too serious for its own good, the movie is strikingly shot and played to bring out the gritty tenacity of people who dare to live in such a foreboding place. And a couple of shocking twists in the tale keep us on our toes.
In the Nebraska Territory in 1853, life was so difficult that three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto and Sonja Richter) in a small community are driven mad by the isolation, desperation and harsh weather. Their husbands are too busy surviving to do anything about it, so the local pastor (John Lithgow) arranges for the strong-willed spinster farmer Mary Bee (Hilary Swank) to escort them back east to civilisation. She needs a "homesman" to help make the arduous five-week journey, so she drafts in drunken scoundrel George (Tommy Lee Jones). During their long trek across the plains, they have a series of potentially life-threatening encounters with the likes of well-armed Native Americans, an interfering opportunist (Tim Blake Nelson) and a cruelly dismissive hotel owner (James Spader).
The characters are strikingly feisty, starting with Swank's fiercely no-nonsense, self-sufficient Mary Bee, who one local observes is as good as any man around. She's also rather annoyingly holier-than-thou, which explains why she's has so much trouble finding a husband to help her. And these three women really push her to the breaking point: Gummer's Bella is consumed by grief, Otto's Theoline moans day and night, and Richter's Gro is a delusional menace. So it's a good thing that Jones provides some comic relief as the rapscallion George, a snarky realist who's the only likeable person on-screen.He also emerges along the way as the true protagonist of the tale.
Continue reading: The Homesman Review
Scarlett Johansson heads up Luc Besson's 'Lucy'
Luc Besson is clearly a cinematic force to reckon with, invading our cinemas this year as a producer (The Homesman) and writer (3 Days to Kill and Brick Mansions). And as a writer-director, his action romp Lucy has already topped the US box office and is expanding globally over the next two weeks to Europe, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'
Besson hasn't made many films that didn't have some element of action in them. But he never blows things up just for the spectacle. "If the action doesn't have a soul or purpose, I'm not interested," he says. "If it's pure action for its own sake, I enjoy it like a cheeseburger: you eat it, then you're hungry."
Continue reading: 'Lucy' Merges Bessons' Obsessions: Action, and Beautiful Women
'Lucy' has been a big hit and Universal want a sequel.
Director Luc Besson has generated modest acclaim for his action-thriller Lucy, though the Frenchman says it is unlikely there will be a sequel. Fans of the movie have been clamouring for news of a second movie - as have representatives of Universal Pictures - but Besson told reporters in Taiwan: "I don't see how we can do one."
Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'
"It's not made for that," he said in an interview with the local press. "If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now I don't even think about it."
Continue reading: 'Lucy' Is Fantastic, But There Will Be No Sequel, Says Besson