UK Release Date: 20th June 2014
Runtime: 117 minutes
Writer: Luc Besson, Adi Hasak
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Richard Sammel
Synopsis: A CIA agent with a terminal illness agrees to do one final job for a chance at the miracle cure that could give him more time to reconcile with his daughter.
Kevin Costner has spent the last six months trying very hard to become Liam Neeson. Earlier this year, he made a grizzled appearance as a CIA old hand in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and he seems to have effectively reprised that role for 3 Days to Kill, which is a risible actioner from the ever-irritating McG.
Ethan Renner (Costner) is a hardened CIA agent on the trail of notorious criminal The Wolf (Richard Sammel). When he collapses during a chase, doctors tell him he has only a few months to live. Ethan opts to use this time to try and repair his relationship with daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld), but soon finds himself thrust back into danger when mysterious agent Vivi (Amber Heard) offers him a potential miracle cure if he can finish what he started with The Wolf.
3 Days to Kill is dismal from start to finish. The “dream team” of Besson and McG have crafted an actioner that fails to impress at all and suffers from a tone that veers from the dull to the borderline offensive. It’s a world where whimsical and banal bike riding can form a five-minute montage and torture is played for laughs.
| "The Wolf is the most dangerous terrorist this world has ever faced. Only you can stop him."
Kevin Costner plays his central role in such a bland way that he could’ve been replaced by Liam Neeson, Arnold Schwarzenegger or just about any other aging action hero. It’s a performance shockingly free of charisma that fails to convince in any of the script’s more emotionally demanding scenes.
Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen are so underwritten that they feel like nothing more than archetypes. This is also true of a series of characters who McG and Besson choose to file under “jovial foreigner” in lieu of actual depth.
Even worse is Amber Heard’s odd spy-cum-dominatrix who feels like she has walked in from an entirely different film – The Spy Who Lashed Me, perhaps.
| "I’m going to need a new suit.”
There’s very little at all to redeem 3 Days to Kill. The plot is inherently ridiculous and, aside from a decent opening raid, the action scenes are fairly limp and uninspiring. McG’s one redeeming factor has always been that he’s never boring, but 3 Days to Kill throws that assertion firmly into the nearest rubbish bin.
Pop or Poop?
McG has delivered a truly yawn-worthy actioner with 3 Days to Kill, which sleepwalks through a narrative that goes from the blandly conventional to the flatly absurd.
Costner, Steinfeld and Nielsen battle to rescue boring caricatures of roles, whilst McG focuses his lens solely on Amber Heard’s bottom. No disrespect to Heard, but that isn’t enough to hold my attention for two hours.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.