Taken 3 (2015)

taken3There’s a car chase roughly midway through Taken 3. Its edited so tight, with such a bewildering number of shots cut into apparently almost every second or so, complete with camera shakes and frenzied focus-pulls, that it made me feel physically nauseous. Literally. I had to look away from the screen. It was an utterly dizzying assault on the senses, a blitzkrieg of visual information that left me quite incapable to fathom the details of exactly what was going on. Piecing together the chaotic shots into a meaningful sequence of events that told a story – or indeed the progression of a stunt- became incredibly difficult. If you thought the action stuff in the Bourne Identity films were a bit maddeningly edited then think again; they seem quite sedate in hindsight. The way this is shot and edited you really cannot tell what the hell is going on half the time.

Really, it was ridiculous. Perhaps the younger generation that this film was aimed at can readily process this sequence at ease. Indeed, perhaps its the crazy pace of how its edited that raises their excitement levels and dispels any ennui on their part. But to me its just terrible film-making, terrible storytelling. Its confusing, its pulling me out of the movie. Maybe its just covering up really bad stunt choreography. It all looks like the work of an amateur to me, to be honest; lots of flash and whistles to disguise the lack of style and imagination. Indeed, this frenzied car chase sums up the whole movie- very dumb and very loud, very contrived and very ill-judged. If this is the future of action cinema then perhaps I should go get my coat and leave. Its not just the car chase of course- all the action sequences and fight scenes are similarly badly staged and terribly edited.Its such a shame, as I really enjoyed Taken and hoped the second film was just a miss-step, but it seems obvious now that the first film was just a lucky fluke. And of course the work of a vastly more accomplished director.

One thought on “Taken 3 (2015)

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone of any generation praise this modern trend for ridiculously over-cut action — indeed, plenty of people routinely slag it off. Then whenever something like John Wick comes along, with a more classical approach to shooting action, it’s (justifiably) praised to the nines. Why do they keep doing it? I guess it’s cheaper and easier to knock up these hyper-edited sequences in post than it is to have to stage stunts properly on set, and audiences — despite their complaints online afterwards — still pay money to see it.

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