While this is certainly no TAKEN, itís also way better than TAKEN 2, BRICK MANSIONS, THE FAMILY or anything else Bessonís 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 TAKENís 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 heís 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 thatís easily in the teens, one thing thatís nice about Costner is how reticent he is to kill, with him going out of his way to spare one of The Wolfís top men when he discovers he has a family and showing distaste when Heardís sadistic agent starts executing bad guys for kicks. Heís got a bit of that old Bondian ďheís an efficient killer but he hates killingĒ 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 sheís drop-dead gorgeous, sheís so comic-book over-the-top that she doesnít really suit the film, with her dominatrix/agent stick wearing thin, although she looks sexy as hell in her different outfits.
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 someoneís head is taken off by an elevator is rather gruesome Ė 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.
McGís Method: A short, five minute piece profiling McGís working method. Iím usually not a fan, but it canít be denied he does a hell of a lot better with the material than any of Bessonís 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 itís pretty brief, but at least itís not another full-on epk.