Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Amber Heard
Directed by: McG
Written By: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 43 min
So was Liam Neeson busy? Or maybe Kevin Costner and Mr Neeson have the same agent? Just kidding. It doesn’t matter I guess, because neither one of those great actors would be able to get past McG’s seemingly limitless ability to screw up a perfectly good premise.
There are lots of elements in 3 Days to Kill. A paper-thin plot to kill some bad guys called The Wolf and The Albino. No, I’m not making these names up. There’s the family drama element as Ethan (Kevin Costner) tries to re-connect with his daughter and wife. More comedy/drama when Ethan finds an entire family squatting in his apartment in Paris, and lastly, an odd partnership with another CIA agent called Vivi Delay (Amber Heard.)
Not all these elements are entirely successful, and the scenes with Vivi Delay completely fail in my opinion. Her character is ridiculously underdeveloped. One minute she’s a smartly dressed agent being handed the assignment to find and kill The Wolf. The next thing you know she’s speeding around Paris in a completely stupid looking wig bribing Ethan to do her job for her. Each and every one of her scenes didn’t make any sense, and I was grateful those moments were sporadic, and brief!
What does work are the sections of the film surrounding Ethan and his family. Often funny, other times genuinely moving. Always entertaining. So much so I ended up leaving the theater feeling an opportunity had been wasted. In the hands of a better director (*cough* Luc Besson!) 3 Days to Kill might have been really decent.
Keep your expectations low for this one. If you’re a fan of Kevin Costner this one is worth checking out as he’s about the best thing in it. Don’t expect 3 Days to Kill to make any sense.
This isn’t an overly visual experience, and the action is mostly shot too close and edited to be as incoherent as possible. If you can’t wait for the DVD, a matinée is recommended. At home a regular DVD or streaming show will be fine.
Best element for me:
Kevin Costner’s performance is the single best reason to see this film.