<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by McG. Starring Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Amber Heard, Connie Nielson, Tómas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel
What a horribly dull and clumsily made film!
Kill me now!
Don’t go by the poster, 3 Days To Kill is not a serious thriller or action movie. It’s a sloppy action movie and a horrible thriller. It’s more of a comedy and father-daughter drama. But a bad comedy and lousy father-daughter drama. And it’s monstrously long too!
Oh my God Kevin, I thought your days of Water World-type films were over. You’re one of the most likeable actors out there and it’s only because of you that I didn’t walk out of this film, apart from the fact that I’m supposed to be reviewing it, of course.
Now considering the film is based on a story written by Luc Besson (co-written with Adi Hasak) who apparently is ‘considered the French equivalent of Steven Spielberg – CERTIANLY NOT – and 3 Days To Kill is directed by McG (of the Charlie’s Angels movies) you can expect something a bit eccentric. What you get is a mishmash that forgets the action-thriller part of the plot in favour of reuniting a CIA father with his daughter when he learns he has only three months to live.
Kevin Costner is Ethan Renner (reminded me of Jeremy Renner), a CIA veteran who is some sort of ‘clean up’ guy. There’s a clichéd first bit with bad guys in black cars and the good guys staking out a hotel where an ‘albino’ evil guy is selling nuclear material. The ‘albino’ is just a bald white guy. And after a floor of the hotel – predictably – blows up and Ethan is diagnosed with some form of cancer, he’s off to Paris to reconnect with his estranged wife (Connie Nelson) and daughter (Hailee Steinfeld).
But Vivi wants Ethan’s pistol to work for her. Sexy Vivi (Amber Heard) is supposedly with the CIA but she looks more like something out of La Femme Nikita or a soft porn S&M film (I’ve heard about them). She wants Ethan to bump off the albino and the Wolf and she’ll give him an injection to prolong his life. Sounds fun but sadly it isn’t.
What a mess!
Clumsy action scenes are far and few between lots of product placement for Samsung. The win-the-daughter-back track of the film comes to the forefront with even the bad guys getting in on helping Ethan be a good father, one even providing his Italian mama’s recipe for spaghetti sauce.
There are several plot holes and WTF moments including goofs like when Ethan is holding his phone upside down, when the little black French boy points to his watch in the wrong hand positions and the inexplicability of his wife leaving on holiday, leaving her daughter at home, when she has just witnessed Ethan ransacking her kitchen for a bottle of vodka! Even though the reason for the vodka is valid for the story, it isn’t for a mother who barely knows her CIA, killer husband.
To be fair, Kevin Costner plays his part with sincerity and calm. There’s not a moment where he looks like he doesn’t want to be part of this film. He truly tries his best but his best is just not good enough to save 3 Days To Kill that isn’t even a film good enough to kill your time watching.