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3 Days to Kill
BLU-RAY disk
06.03.2014 By: Chris Bumbray
3 Days to Kill order download
Director:
McG

Actors:
Kevin Costner
Amber Heard

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A terminally ill C.I.A agent (Kevin Costner) visits Paris to try and reconnect with his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter (Hailee Steinfeld). His plans are upset by the arrival of a mysterious former colleague (Amber Heard) who offers him an experimental drug that can prolong his life – if he’s willing to hunt down and kill an elusive arms dealer nicknamed “The Wolf”.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Every once in a while, you walk into a movie with no expectations whatsoever and find yourself surprised. When 3 DAYS TO KILL hit theaters last winter, it wasn’t assigned to me as a critic, and when the pans started coming in I opted to skip it, even though I’m usually game for a good actioner. I also like Kevin Costner, but again – the buzz was toxic. It didn’t help matters that McG , a director who hasn’t made a single film I’ve liked, was at the helm, nor did it help being from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, which has really been churning out crap since hitting a home run with TAKEN. Obviously this was an attempt to do the same thing they did for Liam Neeson with Costner.

While this is certainly no TAKEN, it’s also way better than TAKEN 2, BRICK MANSIONS, THE FAMILY or anything else Besson’s company has put out in the last few months. Credit is likely due to McG, whose over-the-top style meshes well with the material. Rather than ape TAKEN’s grim tone, 3 DAYS TO KILL is just fun, with equal importance going to the domestic comedy-drama of former assassin Costner trying to bond with his bratty daughter, while also chasing down a terrorist. If anything, the emphasis is on the lighter family story. This is occasionally jarring, but it works relatively well throughout.

While pushing sixty, Costner looks great (which is weird as he’s supposed to be dying) looking dapper with a scarf and leather jacket, and a couple of sharp suits. He acquits himself well in the action scenes, although a gimmick of him falling unconscious anytime he has the baddie in his grasp is overdone somewhat. Despite a body count that’s easily in the teens, one thing that’s nice about Costner is how reticent he is to kill, with him going out of his way to spare one of The Wolf’s top men when he discovers he has a family and showing distaste when Heard’s sadistic agent starts executing bad guys for kicks. He’s got a bit of that old Bondian “he’s an efficient killer but he hates killing” thing going on. For his part, Costner seems to enjoy playing an action hero, and his chemistry with both Nielsen and Steinfeld is spot on. AMERICAN FLYERS fans will also get a kick out of subplot that has Costner biking around Paris and doing some nifty bike tricks he probably learned on the set of that movie. The only sore point is Heard. While she’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s so comic-book over-the-top that she doesn’t really suit the film, with her dominatrix/agent stick wearing thin, although she looks sexy as hell in her different outfits.
THE EXTRAS

PG-13 and Unrated versions: 3 DAYS TO KILL comes in both the theatrical PG-13 cut, and an R-rated cut. Having not seen it in theaters, I opted for the R-rated version. Not sure what was added, although you do see some nudity as an S&M show Heard attends, and an opening murder where someone’s head is taken off by an elevator is rather gruesome – certainly for a PG-13. The R-Rated cut also runs about five minutes longer than the theatrical.

The Making of 3 DAYS TO KILL: A ten-minute epk with lots of talking heads and not much else. Pretty run-of-the-mill.

McG’s Method: A short, five minute piece profiling McG’s working method. I’m usually not a fan, but it can’t be denied he does a hell of a lot better with the material than any of Besson’s other resident directors (like Olivier Megaton) would have done.

Covert Operation: This is a kind of neat featurette going a little deeper into the cloak and dagger world. At five minutes it’s pretty brief, but at least it’s not another full-on epk.

Theatrical Trailer

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
3 DAYS TO KILL isn’t a spectacular action film, but it’s a pretty solid one and a pleasant surprise. Even if you’ve been dissuaded by the nasty reviews, give it a look. It’s worth watching, and a fun two hours.
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11:53AM on 06/03/2014
I really enjoyed this film. I know it got a lot of hate, but who cares. I will likely buy this Blu-Ray down the line, but right now prices are over 20 dollars.
I really enjoyed this film. I know it got a lot of hate, but who cares. I will likely buy this Blu-Ray down the line, but right now prices are over 20 dollars.
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2:15AM on 06/03/2014
I was among those who gave it "nasty reviews". I was really hoping to like this, but it felt like two completely different movies haphazardly stitched-together. I'd describe it as an unsuccessful True Lies.
I was among those who gave it "nasty reviews". I was really hoping to like this, but it felt like two completely different movies haphazardly stitched-together. I'd describe it as an unsuccessful True Lies.
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