3 Days to Kill (2014): A Fight for Your Life

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Action, Drama, Thriller

three-days-to-kill-poster02After discovering that he has late-stage cancer with little hope of extended time, ex-CIA operative Ethan Renner goes back to Paris to reconnect with his estranged wife and daughter with his final days before the illness takes him down. While he gets a little time to chat with his ex-wife, he is picked up by a woman named Vivi who has an interesting offer. She can provide him with an experimental drug that could significantly extend his life, but he must complete a mission for her that would certainly get his attention. Having previously failed to take down an elite group of criminals attempting to sell arms to terrorists, Ethan’s new mission is to take down their leader, “The Wolf,” and a man known as “The Albino” before they can continue to expand their empire.

Review: While this film attempted to balance action, suspense, and family drama with moments of light-hearted comedy, it felt a little underdeveloped and unrefined. Kevin Costner (Ethan Renner) played the older CIA agent who was attempting to stay alive and reclaim the life that he lost due to his work. He was successful at bringing a sense of care and interest into his story, as well as a desire to see him make it in the end. It was less believable that he was so successful taking down a syndicate single-handedly and while trying to balance a relationship with his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter (Haliee Steinfeld). Both of the actresses had little range or development and felt like they were just figures in Costner’s film. As for Amber Heard (Vivi), she just came off as cold and detached, which made her both unlikeable but believable as the invisible hand behind the scenes.

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While the film was focused on seeking out the big guns of the arms dealers, the story focused much more on the combination of the individual steps of the mission and their entanglement with his attempt to rekindle his life. The comedic scenes were interesting but nearly unnecessary for the overall feel of the film. Ethan’s interactions with Mitat Yilmaz (Marc Andreoni) were definitely coincidental and important to the story. Mitat’s storyline included getting kidnapped, interrupted at a family dinner, kidnapped again, and confronted in the final encounter. Throughout this storyline, they had a Lethal Weapon-like banter that just felt a little too forced and tame in comparison. In addition, the family drama was barely actual drama. Zooey dealt with regular teenage issues and barely put up a fight in defiance of her parents. Their relationships seemed surprisingly fine considering their separation for a significant period.

The film ended with a convenient conclusion to wrap up a mediocre outing for Costner and director McG.

Dan’s Rating: 2.5/5

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