It’s April A-to-Z month! Interested in signing up? Unfortunately it’s too late. I know! But even if it it, check out the 1500+ bloggers signed up and striving to complete this month-long challenge. They need YOU to cheer them on!
NOTE: Changes are happening! I’m no longer filtering these movies through the W-story structure, because it’s too rigid. Instead I’ll be using Jami Gold’s Basic Beat Sheet. BUT if you liked Mary Carroll Moore’s W-story structuring method, you can find info all about it here.
Disclaimer: This is MY version of a plot break down. You might decide I’m entirely wrong and spewing nonsense, and that’s cool. It’s all relative.
Also SPOILER WARNING.
And I chose Taken 3 for ‘T’ day. The EASIEST choice ever! I’ve been dying to watch this movie since…well, since I watched Taken 2 earlier last year and since I saw Taken on its release. I still love the first movie in this action-filled trilogy, but I could easily re-watch this whole trilogy and still be thrilled.
And we chop! Not nearly as exciting, but I got to do it anyways.
Inciting incident: The opening scene involves some crazy ex-CIA-like Russian called Malankov who goes around killing some innocent man (an accountant) and his dogs to send a message to this poor guy’s crappy, broke-ass, criminal boss. Skipping to our hero…Bryan Mills is still hovering over his daughter, but he’s learned to loosen his grip and treat her like the college-aged student she is (and he’s backed off her boyfriend, too). Also said daughter is now hiding a pregnancy from her father. His wife, Lenora, has been frequently visiting and re-thinking her marriage to second husband, Stuart St. John. They almost kiss, but Bryan stops her and she agrees that she’ll have to keep her fantasies about him on the down low until she figures out whether she wants her marriage to Stuart. Bryan gives her the keys to his apartment so she can let herself in whenever.
End of the beginning: Stuart pays Bryan a visit and asks that Bryan stop seeing Lenora until Stuart can sort out his relationship with her. Bryan receives a text from his wife and though he promised Stuart he’d back off, he decides to answer and meet her at his apartment (she’s going to let herself in, remember). But when he gets there with breakfast, Bryan steps on a bloody knife and finds Lenora, throat slit, lying on his bed – dead. Suddenly cops are bashing down the door and telling him to get down on the ground. Bryan almost does, but then he snaps and he fights off the cops and runs from the police. He’s going to figure out what happened to Lenora on his own. Someone’s framing him and he’s betting it has to do with Lenora’s killers.
Pinch point #1: Crazy chase scene later, Bryan loses the cops and calls his friend, Sam and goes to their secret hideout and suits up for battle. He does a bunch of stuff that eventually leads him to the last place Lenora visited, a gas station/convenience store in the middle of nowhere. Once he checks out the surveillance he gets caught by cops and lets them think they’ve got him. He pulls some crazy moves and CUE car chase. A lot of unnecessary damage and civilian deaths later, Bryan runs off and fakes his own death for, like, 1 minute. Then he calls the lead detective on the case, Forest Whitaker’s character, and let’s him now he’s still alive. Bryan’s next stop is visiting his daughter. He doesn’t go to Lenora’s funeral for the obvious (hint: the cops are watching) and he decides to meet her secretly at her college.
Midpoint: It takes a while, but Bryan learns that Stuart has something to do with it and goes to pay a visit to the crazy idiot. But first, a bunch of even crazier Russians push his car off a cliff in the deserts of California.
Pinch point #2: Bryan somehow lives…this is never explained how and finds the Russians and beats the crap out of them to try to get answers. He takes their car to Stuart’s house in Malibu and Stuart being an idiot dismisses his guards to talk to the Russians (these guys work for Malankov btw) privately. Well, change of plans Stuart, Bryan wants a chat. After torturing him a bit, Stuart tells him that Malankov forced his hand and so Bryan enlists him to help pay Malankov a visit. So Stuart is now bait and he hooks Malankov and manages to help get Bryan up to the crazy killer Russian’s penthouse. Bryan fights off all of Malankov’s hired guns and then after a wicked battle ends up killing Malankov first (go Bryan!). Only on his dying breath Malankov tells Bryan that he hadn’t anything to do with Lenora’s death other than being a hired to pop Bryan’s ex-wife by her current husband, now widower Stuart.
Crisis: Bryan realizes that Stuart is downstairs waiting in the getaway car with Bryan’s friend, Sam and Bryan’s daughter. Stuart acts and shoots Sam and holding his stepdaughter at gun point brings her along for the ride to his private airplane for a getaway with $12 million dollars (insurance money from Lenora’s death).
Climax: Bryan heads down and has to evade the cops and lead Det. Forest Whitaker to get to Malankov’s sports car and blast out of the garage and chase Stuart’s lead using a tracking device on his daughter’s cell (stupid Stuart, leading Bryan right to you). Anyways, the plane is just about to take off when Bryan blasts his car straight through the back wheels and derails the flight…um, like permanently. Stuart exits the plane with a gun pointed at his stepdaughter’s head. Bryan’s daughter is quick though and she plunges her elbow into stepdaddy dearest’s side and that gives Bryan the opening to shoot his arm…or someplace that isn’t vital. After knocking him out, Bryan opens a quick can of whoop butt on him, but he decides not to kill Stuart in front of his daughter. That and the police have caught up to them.
Resolution: Bryan is absolved of the murder of his ex-wife and everyone forgets all of the crazy crap he pulled (i.e. police chase, car chase, lots of damage to a lot of city property and private property). Int he ending scene, Bryan’s with his daughter and the boyfriend and he gives them his blessing with the baby. His daughter closes off by saying they’ve decided to name the baby Lenora if it’s a girl…nothing about calling the baby Bryan if it’s a boy, but hey, Bryan’s cool with that. Cue credits.
Did you watch this trilogy at all?