Kevin Costner's my main man, right?
Ever since 'Silverado', which was 30 years ago, and I was just
a teenager, Costner has been my guy. I trust Kevin
Costner, even if the movie the man is in might be no good, I
can trust Kevin Costner to do that thing he does. Take
this movie right here '3 Days to Kill' from Luc Besson's
Europacorp. The same folks that shocked us with 'Taken'
a few years back. While choosing between Kevin Costner
and Liam Neeeson might be a push, '3 Days to Kill' is
certainly no 'Taken'. In fact, I don't know what this
movie was supposed to be.
The big operation is going down, and our agent on the ground,
Ethan Renner (Costner), has already cleared out the
room. The plan is to catch the international weapons
dealer called The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his right hand man
The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis), but somehow The Albino gets
tipped off and the operation goes all to hell. In this
middle of the operation that is currently going all to hell,
Ethan has to make his once a year call to his estranged
daughter to wish her happy birthday. It probably
could've waited. Regardless, bullets fly, stuff
explodes, Ethan chases this Albino character but collapses due
to his cold like symptoms.
But it's not a cold! It's brain cancer which has spread
to his lungs! We knew right off the bat that something
was terribly wrong because he was coughing. People who
cough in movies invariably are deathly ill and most likely are
going to die. Since death is imminent for Ethan, it's
time to set some things right, so he's off to Paris to
reconnect with his wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) and his
hateful teenage daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld). If I
based everything that I know about teenage girls on what I see
in movies, then we would have to come to the conclusion that
somewhere between Hitler and Lucifer sits the teenage
Obviously Ethan's family isn't all that happy
to see him, Ethan being all absentee and stuff for the last
five years, but he's out of the game and he's gonna make it
right with the time he has left. I guess I should
mention the family of squatters that's living in his Paris
flat. There, we mentioned it. Unfortunately, every
time you try to leave, they keep pulling you back.
Ethan's handler at the CIA, agent Vivi (Amber Heard), needs
Ethan to help her finish The Wolf / Albino job. For some
reason CIA agent Vivi dresses like a dominatrix. Not
quite sure why. I don't think that's standard CIA
gear. Then she gives Ethan a hard time because he's not
wearing a suit. Vivi should probably look into a mirror
before criticizing someone's choice of professional
coiffure. Ethan's not interested, but damn if Vivi
doesn't have an experimental drug that just might lengthen
Ethan's life and give him more time with his people, if he
agrees to kill for her. Note that Vivi seems to kill
just fine on her own. Again, not sure why she needs
Ethan to do this.
Ethan, as you can imagine, has his plate pretty full right
now. He has terrorists to catch, people to torture, a
hit has been put out him, he's dying, and his wife has left
town leaving him in charge of his evil teenage daughter.
The dying, the terrorists, and the hit were the easy part.
When I mention that I'm not sure what kind of movie '3 Days to
Kill' is supposed to be, I mean I really don't know what kind
of movie this is supposed to be. Is it an action
comedy? The thing about some of the comedy, or at least
what I think was supposed to be funny, was that it was taking
place in the middle of Ethan torturing somebody, or pistol
whipping somebody. Generally speaking… that's not
funny. I know Amber Heard is cute and all, but I
wouldn't have been mad at them if they dressed her like a
normal person. When we first meet her, she's dressed
like one would expect an office professional to dress, but
then I think her transformation into fetish wear and wigs and
the vamp persona were more comedy? Maybe?
Then I guess we could settle on '3 Days to Kill' being an
action movie. The action was actually okay I guess,
though director McG isn't the action maestro that 'Taken'
director Pierre Morel is, or even 'Taken 2' director Olivier
Megaton, though he does have an equally silly name. But
I did kind of like the action, though the Action Plot did
suffer because so much other stuff was going on.
The best parts of this action comedy were actually the family
moments, and not necessarily the family moments with the
estranged daughter since Hailee Stansfeld was directed to be
as distasteful as humanly possible, which didn't endear her
too much to us. No, the best scenes were those between
Costner and Neilson, and even though the relationship between
the two wasn't developed even a tiny bit, these two veteran
actors made their few scenes together feel like they had a
history so that you could see Christine's sadness and you
could feel Ethan's regret. The movie could've used a
little more of this and lot less of some of that other stuff.
'3 Days to Kill' is a mixed bag. Marginally
entertaining, but well-acted by some of the cast, confusingly
acted by the rest… by design I think… wildly inconsistent in
tone and split between different genres while settling in on
none of them. Luc Besson, who co-wrote this script,
knows way more about this stuff than I do, but I'm still at a
loss as to what my man was going for with this particular