In Theatres: Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘Selma’; A Particular Set of Skills in ‘Taken 3’

In one corner, the middle-aged, butt-kicking dad and his family. In another, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and his people...

British actor David Oyelowo stars as American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. in 'Selma' – opening in theatres this weekend.

British actor David Oyelowo stars as American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. in 'Selma' – opening in theatres this weekend.



In theatres this weekend: Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills in Taken 3; the Martin Luther King Jr. marching movie, Selma…

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British actor David Oyelowo stars as American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, released into theatres this weekend.

The film chronicles Dr. King’s march from Selma to Montomgery, Alabama in 1965, followed by President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act into legislation.

Tom Wilkinson stars as Johnson, Tim Roth stars as Governor George Wallace, and Carmen Ejogo stars as Coretta Scott King.

In his review of Selma, the BBC’s Owen Gleiberman called it the first five-star film of the year:

“What Selma shows us isn’t just a protest but the birth of a new America, one that transcends the very notion of black and white. That, the film says, was King’s true legacy: not just winning the Civil Rights battle for “his people”, but the liberation of everyone.”

VIDEO: Selma director, star talk American racism

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Liam Neeson returns to the role of butt-kicking dad Bryan Mills – the guy who can protect anyone from anybody, until of course they’re kidnapped again – in Taken 3.

Neeson returns to the film with his Hollywood daughter, actress Maggie Grace, to reprise their roles from the first two films, and Famke Janssen plays wife/mother Lenny, who’s murder sparks another chase, punch, and kick plot.

So far, reviews have been pretty average to pretty poor. Of course, nobody’s going to see Taken with the hopes it’ll be Citizen Kane.

Still, the AV Club‘s Ignatiy Vishnevetsky says the charm has worn off from the series’ first instalment. The first film – just titled Taken, which debuted in 2008 – showed a single Mills distanced from his family, living close to his paycheque, when he’s forced to race to Paris and rescue his daughter from a group of Albanian sex slavers.

“The neatest thing about Taken, the French-made chase flick that launched the action-star phase of Liam Neeson’s career, is the way it bundles together a whole lot of parental and urban fears, then sublimates them into pummeling action. It’s a movie of relentless and reckless momentum, premised on a middle-age paranoid kook’s worst case scenario.

“So what, exactly, is wrong with Taken 3? A lot of things, most of which can be attributed to the fact that director Olivier Megaton – who also helmed Taken 2 – couldn’t mount an action scene if his life depended on it…

“This is the sort of movie where it takes a half-dozen shots for a man to jump over a fence. It’s busy, but lacks any sense of movement, and is too visually monotonous to work on an abstract level.”