Taken 3

Taken 3

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Olivier Megaton
Produced by Luc Besson
Written by Luc Besson
Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Liam Neeson
Forest Whitaker
Famke Janssen
Maggie Grace
Dougray Scott
Sam Spruell
Leland Orser
Music by Nathaniel Méchaly
Cinematography Eric Kress
Edited by
  • Audrey Simonaud
  • Nicolas Trembasiewicz
Distributed by 20th Century Fox (US)
EuropaCorp (France)
Release dates
  • 16 December 2014 (2014-12-16) (Berlin premiere)
  • 9 January 2015 (2015-01-09) (United States)
  • 21 January 2015 (2015-01-21) (France)
Running time
109 minutes[1]
Country France
Language English
Budget $48 million[2]
Box office $326.4 million[2]

Taken 3 (sometimes stylized as Tak3n)[3][4] is a 2014 English-language French action thriller film directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. It is the third and final installment in the Taken trilogy. The film stars Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen. The film is set two years after the second film.

Principal photography began on March 29, 2014 in Los Angeles. In North America, 20th Century Fox released the film on January 9, 2015.[5][6] The film was released in France on 21 January 2015.


Retired police officer and former covert operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) visits his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), to deliver a birthday gift. After an awkward visit, he invites his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), to dinner. Although she declines, she shows up at his apartment and tells him about her marital problems. He agrees to let her try to work things out with her current husband Stuart (Dougray Scott).

The following day, Bryan receives a text from Lenore asking to meet him for breakfast. Bryan goes out for bagels; and, when he returns to his apartment, he discovers her lifeless body. L.A.P.D. units immediately appear and try to arrest him; but he resists and escapes. Meanwhile, L.A.P.D. Inspector Frank Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) familiarizes himself with Bryan's background and issues a B.O.L.O. for him.

Bryan retreats to a safe house equipped with weapons and surveillance electronics. He retraces Lenore's travels to a remote gas station convenience store and finds surveillance footage of her being abducted by unidentified men with unique hand tattoos; but L.A.P.D. detectives arrive and arrest him. While in-transit, Bryan frees himself, hijacks the police cruiser, escapes, and downloads phone records from an L.A.P.D. database onto a thumb drive. He contacts Kim at Lenore's funeral via his former covert co-workers and friends instructing her to maintain her "very predictable schedule". She purchases her daily yogurt drink with a "Drink Me Now" note which unknowingly is drugged by Bryan. During a lecture, she feels nauseated and runs to the restroom where Bryan is waiting. He surprises her and gives her the antidote to the drug. Bryan removes a surveillance bug that, unknown to her, was planted by Dotzler. He tells her that he is looking for the real murderer and that she should keep safe. Kim tells Bryan of her pregnancy and that Stuart is acting scared and has hired bodyguards which he has never done before.

Bryan tails Stuart's car but is ambushed by a pursuing SUV that pushes his car over the edge of a cliff. He survives the crash, hijacks a car, follows the attackers to a roadside liquor store and kills them. Bryan then abducts and interrogates Stuart, who confesses that his failure to repay a debt to a former business partner and ex-Spetsnaz operative named Oleg Malankov (Sam Spruell) was the reason Lenore was killed and that he exposed Bryan's identity to Malankov out of jealousy.

With assistance from his old colleagues and a nervous Stuart, Bryan gains entry to Malankov's heavily secured penthouse. After killing the guards, a furious gun battle, and brutal fight, a mortally wounded Malankov reveals that Stuart tricked them both. Stuart had planned Lenore's murder and framed Bryan as part of a business deal to collect on a $12M insurance policy. When Malankov failed to kill Bryan, Stuart used Bryan to kill Malankov and remove all threats. Meanwhile, Stuart shoots Bryan's ally, Sam (Leland Orser), and abducts Kim, intending to flee with the money. Under police pursuit, Bryan arrives at the airport in Malankov's Porsche as Stuart's plane is taxiing toward takeoff. After destroying the landing gear, preventing the plane from taking off, Bryan overpowers Stuart and prepares to kill him but pauses at Kim's pleas. He tells Stuart to expect final punishment if he escapes justice or completes a reduced prison sentence. Dotzler and the LAPD arrive to arrest Stuart. Bryan is acquitted and cleared of all charges.

In the aftermath of Stuart's arrest, Kim who is pregnant, informs Bryan that she wants to name her baby after her mother.



On 28 September 2012, Liam Neeson said that there would not be a third film, or that the chances of Taken 3 happening were minimal.[11] Later, on 9 October 2012, Taken and Taken 2 writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen told Hollywood that Fox wanted them to do a third film, but it would go in another direction.[12] As of 24 June 2013, the script was being written by the film writers, but no director was set.[13] On 12 March 2014, Maggie Grace joined the cast,[7] followed by closing a deal with Famke Janssen the next day.[8] On 24 March 2014, Leland Orser also returned to play his character, as did Jon Gries.[9] On 31 March 2014, Jonny Weston signed on to appear in the film as Kim's boyfriend.[10]


Principal photography of the film began on 29 March 2014 in Los Angeles,[14] as well as in Atlanta.[15] On 8 April 2014, Neeson was spotted shooting some scenes in Los Angeles.[16] On 24 April 2014, filming began in Covington, Georgia, where they filmed scenes at Newton College & Career Academy lasting for two days on 24 to 25 April.[17]


On 30 September 2014, Nathaniel Méchaly was set to score the film.[18]

Taken 3: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Nathaniel Méchaly
Released 5 January 2015 (2015-01-05)
Recorded 2014
Genre Film score
Length 1:08:50
Label EuropaCorp

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Nathaniel Méchaly except where noted.[19][20]

Taken 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No. Title Length
1. "Taken 3 Opening"   0:35
2. "Let Me Weep" (Written and performed by Gaelle Mechaly) 2:54
3. "Toes" (Performed by Glass Animals) 4:17
4. "Predictable"   1:20
5. "Lenore Is Dead"   1:41
6. "Bryan Runs"   2:51
7. "A Stutter" (Written and performed by Ólafur Arnalds and Arnor Dan) 5:09
8. "He's Playing You"   1:37
9. "Bryan's Escape"   4:09
10. "He Didn't Do It"   2:23
11. "Inspector Dotzler"   1:18
12. "College Pursuit"   2:30
13. "Kim Interrogation"   3:37
14. "Fourth Yogurt from the Back"   1:27
15. "Malankov's Penthouse"   2:40
16. "Up to the Russians"   1:28
17. "He's a Ghost"   3:03
18. "Bryan's Grief"   6:13
19. "Anything Yet?"   2:38
20. "Store Fight"   2:36
21. "Porsche Pursuit"   4:20
22. "Saving Kim"   4:50
23. "Infinity" (Written and performed by The xx) 5:40
Total length:


A trailer of Taken 3 was released on September 30, 2014.[21][22] The film had its premier on December 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The film saw its release on January 1, 2015 in markets like Hong Kong, South Korea; on January 8, the film was released in UK, in Spain on January 16, in France on January 21 and on February 12 in Italy.[6]

20th Century Fox released the film on 9 January 2015 in the United States.[5] The film was released under the title of "Taken 3 - L'ora della verità" in Italy, "Búsqueda implacable 3" in Mexico, "V3nganza" in Spain, "96 Hours - Taken 3" in Germany and "Заложница 3" in Russia.[6]

Taken 3 employed a "somewhat unconventional" marketing strategy with business-focused social network LinkedIn selecting one fan to have his or her "particular set of LinkedIn skills" endorsed by Liam Neeson's character Mills (a nod to a line in the first Taken, where Mills outlined his "very particular set of skills").[23]

Box office

Taken 3 grossed $89.3 million in North America and $236.5 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $326.5 million, against a budget of $55 million.[2]

In North America, the film earned $14.7 million on its opening day (including previews) which is the fourth-highest opening day for a film released in January behind 2015's American Sniper ($30.5 million), 2008’s Cloverfield ($17.16 million) and 2012’s The Devil Inside ($16.8 million).[24][25] It topped the box office in its opening weekend with $39.2 million against a $38 – $39 million projection.[24][26][27] making it second highest debut in the Taken franchise behind Taken 2 ($49 million) and the fourth-highest January opening of all time behind American Sniper ($89.2 million), Ride Along ($41.5 million) and Cloverfield ($40.1 million).[28][29]

Outside North America, the film opened a week prior to its US debut in Korea and Hong Kong, and earned $8 million and $1.27 million respectively, for a total of $9.34 million.[30] In its actual opening weekend outside of North America, the film was #2 behind Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb earning $41 million from 4,730 screens in 36 markets. Highest international openings were witnessed in the UK and Malta ($10.86 million) and Australia ($4.8 million). It also went #1 in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand.[31] The film opened to first place in the UK with $5.5 million, and debuted in Germany with $4.4 million, Russia with $2.2 million, Philippines with $2.5 million, which is the second-biggest opening ever for 20th Century Fox and Spain with $1.2 million.[32]

Critical response

Taken 3 was panned by critics. The film was criticised for its action sequences, plot, direction, and film editing, though the acting was praised.[33] On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a rating of 11%, based on 104 reviews, with an average rating of 3.4/10, becoming the worst-rated film of the trilogy. The site's critical consensus reads, "Hampered by toothless PG-13 action sequences, incoherent direction, and a hackneyed plot, Taken 3 serves as a clear signal that it's well past time to retire this franchise."[34] On Metacritic the film has a score of 26 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[35]

Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times gave the film a negative rating, writing, "The logy screenplay, by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, sags under head-clutchingly banal dramatic scenes. Only Liam Neeson's appeal somehow survives unscathed, perhaps the most impressive stunt of all".[36] Maggie Lee of Variety also went negative for the film, saying, "The third and presumably final installment of the Liam Neeson action franchise is a mind-numbing, crash-bang misfire".[37] Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times giving the film a negative review, writes, "Taken 3 is so unintentionally hilarious I couldn't help but wonder - do movie contracts carry a humiliation bonus clause these days?"[38] Joe Neumaier of New York Daily News gave the film 0 stars out of 5, saying, "Here it's the audience that gets taken".[39]

Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle gave the film 2 stars out of 4, saying, "If you love the other Taken movies, you will like this. But if you're determined to love it, you'll have to talk yourself into it - and even then, it might not work".[40] Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The AV Club gave the film a C- grade, stating, "Because Mills' hyper-competence never seems exciting, it instead becomes giggle-inducing".[41] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 0 stars out of 4 stars, commenting, "Be warned, sequel fanboys: This thing sucks! At 62, Neeson still has a glare that means badass. Nothing else makes a damn lick of sense. The only thing getting taken is the audience".[42]

Conversely, the film received a more positive review from Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, who gave the film a grade of C, saying, "All you need to know about Taken 3 is that Liam Neeson survives an explosive car crash - twice".[43] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly also went positive with the review by giving the film a B- grade, commenting, "It's the weakest of the trilogy, but Taken 3 kicks just hard enough to survive another day".[44]

In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Taken 3 an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[29]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action Maggie Grace Nominated [45]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Thriller Movie Won [46]


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  4. "Liam Neeson has 'Tak3n' things 2 far". The Verge. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 Ellwood, Gregory (21 March 2014). "New 'Wolverine,' 'Fantastic Four 2' and 'Taken 3' get release dates". hitfix.com. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 "Taken 3 Release". imdb.com. IMDB. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
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  9. 1 2 3 "Leland Orser Returns For 'Taken 3′". deadline.com. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
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  15. Brett, Jennifer (28 March 2014). "'Taken 3' to film in Atlanta". accessatlanta.com. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
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  17. Christine (22 April 2014). "'Taken 3' filming in Covington, GA this week, Extras needed". onlocationvacations.com. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  18. "Nathaniel Mechaly to Return for 'Taken 3′". filmmusicreporter.com. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
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External links

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