TAK3N – Taken 3 (Blu-ray Review)

TAK3NHere we are again for a third go around, but this time out the hunter becomes the hunted when Liam Neeson returns as former CIA operative Bryan Mills, who this time finds himself framed for the brutal murder of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) in TAK3N or a.k.a. Taken 3. Consumed with rage, and pursued by a savvy police inspector (Forest Whitaker), Mills must rely on his “particular set of skills” one last time to find the real killers, clear his name and most importantly, protect the only thing that matters to him now (spoiler alert) — his daughter (Maggie Grace).  How does it stack up to its predecessors?  Find out in my comprehensive review below of the film and everything else you’ll find on this Fox Blu-ray release.



Liam Neeson and his certain set of skills have returned for what some have said is the final showdown in the Taken franchise. Taken 3 starts us off with the Mills family being back in Los Angeles trying to live in peace and get on with their lives after the events in Paris and Istanbul. Kim has a boyfriend and a secret and Bryan and Lenore are slowly reconciling their split. Stuart’s character has transformed from Xander Berkeley into Dougray Scott and the editing is a real mess. I’ll get it out of the way right here and right now. I hated the editing style of the film, because it was like a music video. A bad music video.

In any event and since the advertisements don’t really hide the plot from you – Bryan Mills has been framed for the murder of Lenore. The only person he can trust is Kim and his crew of special-ops guys that have been featured in the last two films. Hot on his trail is the weirdly intuitive Detective Frank Dotzler (Forrest Whitaker). Dotzler can think like Mills by touching a rubber band that he keeps on his wrist along with a chess piece, because he can “tune in” to what the criminal element is up to. Wait, what? Yeah, it’s a cliché.

Frank and the LAPD are on Bryan’s tail but with time running out Bryan will have to find out who’s really behind his framing of Lenore’s death. Look, I saw the PG-13 cut and thought it was awful. I then watched the UNRATED cut on this Blu-ray and thought it was less awful. It has more blood and action scene extensions. The fights are actually allowed to breathe a bit more than what was shown in theaters. I also may be the only one in the world to say it but I actually enjoyed Taken 2 more than Taken 3.

I do think Olivier Megaton needs to buckle down and stop with the flashy editing. It doesn’t work and gives people headaches, because everything zooms in and out for no reason. Liam Neeson still excels as the former special operative with fists of steel and Liam’s made no bones about coming back for this outing if the price was right and the studio paid. Taken 3 is the weakest entry into the franchise and the rumor mill has been pretty quite in terms of there being a fourth one. What I have noticed is that Neeson’s films of him being a dark and damaged character usually don’t make a lot of money yet his more heroic outings like this franchise and Non-Stop seem to clean up. Anyways, I’m rambling, so I will wrap up by saying that Taken 3 is for fans only. 




Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Size: 50 GB

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/DetailTaken 3 looks about as good as it can. It does have some added lens flares and postproduction flourishes that sort of muddy up the image in some spots.

Depth: The film does have some noticeable “pop” and the scenes that take place during the day and showcase the palm trees, the suburbs, beaches, etc., do look rich and vibrant.

Black Levels: Black levels are strong – they remain deep and inky and I did not notice any instances of crush.

Color Reproduction: The color palette can go from bright to muted from scene to scene. It’s a variable color palette.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks nice and healthy – no one looked red or flushed.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not detect noise or artifacts while watching the film.




Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD-MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  Every once and a while we will get a Blu-ray that has a peculiar sound mix. Taken 3 is peculiar in that it doesn’t have a very aggressive or creative sound mix. I don’t believe the lossless advantages of the format were taken advantage off. What’s sad is that the ditzy camerawork and zooms had better sound levels than the onscreen action but I digress.

Low Frequency Extension: All is not lost as the LFE subwoofer channel did carry the various explosions and shotgun blasts and filled them with some adequate “bump.”

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels handled the bullets, traffic, and splinters whizzing by with no problems.

Dialogue Reproduction: The thin dialogue was expertly handled by the front stage – center channel.



Although there’s no director or any type of audio commentary, there are a few items of interest to explore in this Blu-ray release.  However, don’t expect these supplemental features to keep you busy for hours on end or you’ll be severely disappointed.  Check out everything you’ll find here in the Extras department down below.

  • The Unrated Cut – There are two version of the film housed on this Blu-ray disc, the theatrical version and an unrated cut, both selectable from the disc’s main menu.
  • Deleted Scene “Flashback Malankov” (HD, 7:16) – Here we have a flashback that gives us backstory on the film’s main villain rather than the quick montage that’s employed in the actual film.
  • Sam’s Bunker A.K.A. The Rabbit Hole (HD, 3:01) – There’s a Play All selection where you get a 3D tour of the bunker room as well as an explanation of all the tech found within and their uses in the film.  The selections include the following: Data Extractor, Mobile Computer, Beretta m9 92FS, Micro Lapel Camera, Jamming Device, Serum and Antidote, Smoke Grenade, In-Ear Communicator and Lock Pick.
  • Taken to LA (HD, 4:16) – Here we have a quick behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.  Liam and Oliver talk about the movie and its LA setting despite some of it being shot in foreign countries made to look like LA.
  • A Taken Legacy (HD, 4:54) – Here’s a quick look at all three films in the trilogy and the difference between this one and the first two.
  • Gallery (HD) – Here we have a gallery of still images you can either manually go through or there’s an automatic play option too.
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD. 2:15) – Here we have the film’s theatrical trailer for your viewing pleasure.
  • Digital HD (HD) – Take the film with you on the road by redeeming the redemption voucher for TAK3N on the UltraViolet format or iTunes.




As I mentioned before in the beginning Taken 3 is strictly for fans only. The Blu-ray does well in that it provides BOTH the PG-13 theatrical and the UNRATED cut. I prefer the UNRATED cut but that’s not really saying much. The Blu-ray does relatively well in terms of video/audio specs and the special features are pretty run-of-the-mill. If you’re at all curious about Taken 3 then give it a rental first.






TAK3N Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

3 Responses to “TAK3N – Taken 3 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    You were waaaay 2 kind with your film score 🙂

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    At least you threw in the Panda!

  3. Gerard Iribe

    Just for you Aaron!