Remember that dad from ‘Love Actually’ who turned badass and went after the sex-traffickers who kidnapped his daughter?
Liam Neeson’s third outing as Bryan Mills takes place 7 years later – his wife’s been killed and he’s on the run from the cops. That aside, we’re watching the same movie again, except this time we’ve gone from Albanian traffickers to the dads of Albanian traffickers to the Russians, fast again becoming the stock Hollywood bad guy.
Expect explosions, explosions with explosions and Liam Neeson treading very familiar territory.
It could have gone out with a bang – the sequel to Die Hard 1 & 2 really shook it up by spreading the action throughout New York and making a completely different buddy-film. Maggie Grace (Neeson’s daughter) was much more interesting in the first sequel when it appeared she had a particular set of skills like her father. She doesn’t use them much here – a Mills father-daughter duo could have been a lot of fun.
Instead it feels like Die Hard 5 and the Mission Impossible sequels where we know our hero is now indestructible and the audience just kind of want to know how he gets out of this one. In the first two films Bryan was vulnerable, getting caught in each one and using his ingenuity to escape. Here, for some inexplicable reason, he lets himself get captured, having disarmed some other cops only 20 minutes earlier, and wastes a lot of time not finding the bad guys.
Bryan’s team of ex-black ops join him for an entertaining raid with Forest Whitaker bringing some gravitas to the dogged police officer pursuing Bryan. Neeson’s recent outings (The Grey, Non-Stop, Unknown) along similar lines are much more entertaining for being original – with the soon to be released ‘Run all Night’ promising to be better than this poorly-judged threequel.