Latest Movie News Headlines

Review: 3 Days to Kill

Feb. 21, 2014by: Eric Walkuski

PLOT: A CIA agent, who only has a few months to live, chooses to spend his final days with his estranged family - but quickly finds himself roped into hunting a villainous arms dealer at the behest of a shady operative.

REVIEW: Perhaps Kevin Costner went method and actually made himself terminally ill in preparation for 3 DAYS TO KILL, which might explain why he looks so thoroughly miserable throughout the film. Surely the paycheck was more than sufficient, because if any gig screamed "paycheck job," it's this braindead slog. Then again, Costner's sour demeanor may just be a natural reaction to realizing what a terrible mistake he's made starring in this turkey, which comes from Luc Besson's derivative action movie factory and director McG, who won't be released from Director Jail anytime soon.

Costner is Ethan Renner, a spy for the CIA who learns he's dying of brain cancer, prompting him to travel to Paris and attempt a connection with his estranged daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld) and ex-wife Christine (Connie Nielsen). But wouldn't you know it, Paris also happens to be the location where an arms dealer called The Wolf (Richard Sammel) has set up shop and plans on selling something to terrorists. Ethan once had a run-in with The Wolf and his vile henchman The Albino (you can tell they got really creative with the nicknames here), but has no interest in pursuing him further, aiming to stick with his family reunion, which will be tough enough considering he's never been there for his daughter. (Has there ever been a father in one of these movies who has always been there for his kid?)

Of course, just when he thought he was out Ethan is persuaded to hunt down The Wolf by a sexy operative for the Agency (Amber Heard, of course the least believable CIA operative ever) who tempts him with an experiential drug said to be able to cure his illness. Sure, there's a side effect where he begins hallucinating, but that's nothing a chug of vodka won't cure. Seriously. So now Ethan must find time to do all that parenting he missed out on while sneaking away to shoot/abduct/torture bad guys and destroy half of Paris.

The plot is predictable and derivative even by Besson's standards, which have gotten lower and lower over time. One can accept stretches in logic and occasional silliness in what's supposed to be a dumb-fun action movie, but the writing here is so preposterous that it counts as an insult against the audience. Almost no effort has been given to make the situation suspenseful or engaging; the villains are no more than ciphers, barely developed, nor is their mission even bothered to be described. Often the film simply forgets they exist.

What interests Besson and co-writer Adi Hasak more is the father-daughter dynamic, which is completely predictable from the get-go. Will Zoey reject Ethan outright at first? You bet. Will he stumble a few times on his way toward proving he's capable of being a caring, loving dad? Of course. Will she be completely oblivious to the fact that he's not a "salesman," as he claims? Yes, because she's written as being fairly dumb. The plotting is so lazy it's like TRUE LIES adapted by ABC Family.

When it's not fumbling the drama and ignoring the action, 3 DAYS TO KILL frequently goes for comedy, a dreadful idea since Besson is superbly unfunny (see: THE FAMILY), as is McG (see, well, everything he's done). For some unearthly reason, there's a subplot about a family of African immigrants living in Ethan's flat, which adds nothing and goes nowhere. Then there are several scenes where Ethan, while on the job torturing somebody, has to talk to his daughter on the phone at the same time! Hilarity. Yes, there are plenty of "Daddy's working, sweetie" moments in the film, the same joke revived again and again.

But while I don't expect much from Besson or McG (who can't even handle the action astutely, let alone the drama or comedy), Costner is the biggest disappointment. Whether or not he's trying too hard to play the tough loner is for him to know, but you couldn't ask for a more lifeless performance. Just last month brought us Costner in a far better mood in JACK RYAN, in which he also played gruff and authoritative, but with considerable more personality. He couldn't be less interested in 3 DAYS TO KILL, and while I can't blame him, maybe he shouldn't have taken the sorry job in the first place.

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

12:24PM on 02/21/2014
Costner: I want back into the A-List.

Costner's Agent: Liam Neeson and you are practically the same age, right? But you can't do accents (remember Robin Hood?) so you're out on any fantasy/historical epics. What's left? RomComs?

Costner: I did Rumor Has It and Upside of Anger-

Agent: Those tanked. And WITH Jennifer Aniston at her post-Friends height of bankability.

Costner: Right, right HmmWell, there's action. I haven't done a straight action movie since 3000 Miles To
Costner: I want back into the A-List.

Costner's Agent: Liam Neeson and you are practically the same age, right? But you can't do accents (remember Robin Hood?) so you're out on any fantasy/historical epics. What's left? RomComs?

Costner: I did Rumor Has It and Upside of Anger-

Agent: Those tanked. And WITH Jennifer Aniston at her post-Friends height of bankability.

Costner: Right, right HmmWell, there's action. I haven't done a straight action movie since 3000 Miles To Graceland-

Agent: Hey! We agreed to never mention that film again and if we saw on it television, what do we say to ourselves?

Costner: It co-starred Christian Slater and Bokeem Woodbine-

Agent: Exactly. Christian Slater. A decade after Kuffs and Heathers.

Costner: Well, so then, what? I've been doing a good job at playing the father figure lately. And people believe me with a gun in my hand. What if we combined those two?

Agent: SoTaken? You want to do your own Taken, which itself has already been aped a bunch and feels stale after only five years and two movies- not counting Unknown and Non-Stop.

Costner: Yeah. Lets do one of those.

Agent: You know the Family bombed, right?

Costner: I justLook, Draft Day is coming out- number one script on the Blacklist, people associate me with sports movies. I just want to switch it up. Call Luc Besson, make something happen.

Agent: This is probably a mistake- Liam Neeson caught lightning in a bottle.

Costner: Just do it or I'll speak to you in a Boston accent, or an English accent!

Agent: Okay! Okay! Jesus. Just.. Remember Mister Brooks.

Costner: Who?

Agent: Exactly.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:55PM on 02/21/2014
Thanks. You just made my day. :)
Thanks. You just made my day. :)
5:56PM on 02/21/2014
Read that in Costner's voice. Priceless.
Read that in Costner's voice. Priceless.
1:52AM on 02/23/2014
You should write these fly on a wall reports for every article from now on! God job to you sir.
You should write these fly on a wall reports for every article from now on! God job to you sir.
3:14PM on 02/23/2014
I'll do my best. I have a degree in Creative Writing and can't find a job to save my life. If only fictionalized brutally honest conversations between celebrities and their representatives paid.
I'll do my best. I have a degree in Creative Writing and can't find a job to save my life. If only fictionalized brutally honest conversations between celebrities and their representatives paid.
10:13AM on 02/21/2014

Haha Ethan Renner?

Luc Besson must have been watching Ghost Protocol while writing this movie to give the main character that name.
Luc Besson must have been watching Ghost Protocol while writing this movie to give the main character that name.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:14AM on 02/21/2014
Totally agree, and "TRUE LIES adapted by ABC Family" is spot-on. The tonal inconsistencies are jarring, the film falls flat on its face trying to meld the father-daughter relationship drama plot line with the spy thriller one. There's also an ersatz quality, like McG is trying his best to approximate the visual stylings of Besson himself. I also found out that Besson has a French TV series with a practically identical plot to this one. The commenter said it would be like if Vince Gilligan wrote
Totally agree, and "TRUE LIES adapted by ABC Family" is spot-on. The tonal inconsistencies are jarring, the film falls flat on its face trying to meld the father-daughter relationship drama plot line with the spy thriller one. There's also an ersatz quality, like McG is trying his best to approximate the visual stylings of Besson himself. I also found out that Besson has a French TV series with a practically identical plot to this one. The commenter said it would be like if Vince Gilligan wrote and produced a feature script called "Meth Teacher" while Breaking Bad was ongoing. The cinematography by Thierry Arbogast (who did Nikita, Lon and The Fifth Element) is pretty, though.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:29PM on 02/21/2014
I saw this last night and enjoyed it. But I also knew what I was getting into, so I didnt expect much.
I saw this last night and enjoyed it. But I also knew what I was getting into, so I didnt expect much.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:01PM on 02/22/2014
To each their own. While the story was nothing new it was still a good film. Good pacing and nice acting. Action scenes were done nicely by McG as well.
To each their own. While the story was nothing new it was still a good film. Good pacing and nice acting. Action scenes were done nicely by McG as well.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:57AM on 02/23/2014
I don't think McG is horrible at directing action sequences...in fact if he did a film about people with superpowers where the laws of nature weren't an issue I think that would look great. His issue is everything else...I don't think he directs actors very well and doesn't handle any of the "quiet" scenes between the action with any ability.
I think he and Ratner are pretty much the same director with the same strengths and the same weaknesses (except Ratner has directed a few funny movies,
I don't think McG is horrible at directing action sequences...in fact if he did a film about people with superpowers where the laws of nature weren't an issue I think that would look great. His issue is everything else...I don't think he directs actors very well and doesn't handle any of the "quiet" scenes between the action with any ability.
I think he and Ratner are pretty much the same director with the same strengths and the same weaknesses (except Ratner has directed a few funny movies, mostly due to Chris Tucker). I don't expect academy awards flying either guys way but there are way worse directors. Both seem to usually find an audience for their films so they don't bother me either way...glad you had fun with the movie that's all you can ask for with something like this.
6:37PM on 02/21/2014
I saw this last night and enjoyed it. But I also knew what I was getting into, so I didnt expect much.
I saw this last night and enjoyed it. But I also knew what I was getting into, so I didnt expect much.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:58PM on 02/21/2014

Wasn't necessarily looking forward to it but...

it looked like a matinee. However, this review is a warning.
it looked like a matinee. However, this review is a warning.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
2:20PM on 02/21/2014
I've come to understand that a bad script never turns out to be a good movie, no matter who's on the director's chair. If I were that naive and expect a good movie from the guy who always writes "formula" movies (that end up being all the same at the end, only the characters and the story differs), than I would've had high hopes for this one, but Besson is the guy who gets hired to write always the same thing. Add to this McG, who has not even a single exceptional movie on his filmography, than
I've come to understand that a bad script never turns out to be a good movie, no matter who's on the director's chair. If I were that naive and expect a good movie from the guy who always writes "formula" movies (that end up being all the same at the end, only the characters and the story differs), than I would've had high hopes for this one, but Besson is the guy who gets hired to write always the same thing. Add to this McG, who has not even a single exceptional movie on his filmography, than you will get an idea what's about to be baked here. Too bad the cast signed for quantity (paycheck) and not quality (the project).
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:07PM on 02/21/2014
That sucks. I had some hope for this one.
That sucks. I had some hope for this one.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:41AM on 02/21/2014
I've been pulling for this little Kevin Costner comeback, but apparently it's been falling flat.
I've been pulling for this little Kevin Costner comeback, but apparently it's been falling flat.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
10:59AM on 02/21/2014
So basically Costner was playing "Pa Kent" again? This time with a gun and an even more sour face?
So basically Costner was playing "Pa Kent" again? This time with a gun and an even more sour face?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:23AM on 02/21/2014
I think the film just maybe tried too hard in making this film seem like a Liam Neeson film without actually having Liam Neeson in the film. The comedic moments in the trailer (like the guy in the trunk) didn't help either.
I think the film just maybe tried too hard in making this film seem like a Liam Neeson film without actually having Liam Neeson in the film. The comedic moments in the trailer (like the guy in the trunk) didn't help either.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Movie News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!