Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
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 girl. 
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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 film.
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