3 Days to Kill – 2 out of 5
Had this film waited a decade or so, 3 Days to Kill would probably be starring Jason Statham and be 5 more shades of crazy. However, as it stands, it was made with Kevin Costner (who is suddenly in exactly 285 films this year—I may be off by a couple hundred).
|Not to start this review on a weird note but I've never noticed how blue Costner's eyes|
Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is an experience CIA operative who can kick ass and take names with or without the need to chew bubble gum when he arrives at a situation. However, the years haven’t been kind to his family life or his body as he is estranged from his wife (Connie Nielsen), barely knows his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), and now has to contend with the reality he is going to die from terminal brain cancer. However, super CIA assassin Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) gives Renner an experimental drug that can help extend his life so he can help her kill two arms dealers and ne’er-do-wells nicknamed The Albino (Tómas Lemarquis) and The Wolf (Richard Sammel). And, like anyone who finds out they are going to die, Renner decides he wants to make all the wrongs in his life right and tries to reconnect with his family and get to know his daughter. The timing couldn’t be worse.
|"We'll fix your hair later, daddy has targets to eliminate."|
While my score may be on the low side, 3 Days to Kill is not a wholly terrible film. There’s actually a lot of good stuff going on in the movie and it starts fairly decently. However, the bad the movie has loaded in it hurts it enough where the film drops just below an average score. For example, Amber Heard’s cheesy performance and the tired old flirty assassin character who uses her sexuality to completely define her as an assassin is one of those bad things. Seriously, is it possible to have a badass female assassin in an action thriller that doesn’t need to playfully flirt with the male lead?
|Here's a shocker, Amber Heard is overacting in her role.|
Aside from Heard, the biggest drawback to the film is the fact it gets pretty sloppy in the plot department as it can’t quite juggle the story of Ethan having a miracle drug to give him enough time to do one more job and try and piece things together with his family. Sure, occasionally this dynamic results in an amusing moment when work and family collide but, for the most part, the movie feels like it has no idea where it wants to go with most scenes and it tends to jump around pretty haphazardly. This, honestly, is the worst thing about the film and it really isn’t that bad. Had this been tweaked ever so slightly the movie could have been a decent, middle-of-the-road action film.
"You missed me!"
And speaking of the action…it’s pretty good in that department. The film never takes itself too seriously and it incorporates some fairly amusing gags during the shoot-outs, fist-fights and boom-booms but that isn’t to say that all of Costner’s beat up the baddies scenes were watered down slapstick. There are some legitimate badass sequences that make Costner look like a contender for the next Expendables movie.
|Actually, now that I said that, Costner's probably getting a call from Sly.|
And that brings me to my next point…Costner. Aside from some entertaining action bits, Kevin Costner is the strongest thing this film has going for it. I already mentioned that Amber Heard is pretty cheesy and over-doing it in her role and that delivery is matched to a lesser extended with Hailee Steinfeld as Zooey Renner (she wasn’t terrible but there definitely wasn’t much chemistry that would result in a believable damaged father/daughter relationship with Costner) and Connie Nielsen is just kinda there as Mama Renner. Furthermore, the films two villains have the potential to be pretty cool but the story doesn’t really showcase much of them for that potential to be realized. Costner, on the other had, really commanded attention in his role and even though he is occasionally coming off like a generic gruff “I’m too old for this shit” type, he is still very entertaining and really sells the legitimate nature of the aging CIA agent.
|Hey, The Wolf kinda looks like Jürgen Prochnow.|
For the most part, 3 Days to Kill isn’t a terrible movie. The acting isn’t bad enough to throw you out of the story (a lot of it is still not good enough to draw you in, either), the action isn’t weak and the plot isn’t a complete mess to the point that it will drive you to insanity as you try and put together the pieces that the production left out (but it still has a ton of hiccups); however, despite its sloppiness that keeps it from being something a little more than what it was, Kevin Costner is great in it and the action sequences are good enough to satisfy.