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Film Review: Stereotypical ‘3 Days to Kill’ Tonally Uneven
CHICAGO – As a director, Kevin Costner comes across as a patient guy who waits for the right material to come along. Considering the last movie he helmed is a little over ten years old (“Open Range”), one might also consider him picky too. As an actor, it feels like Costner woke up one recent morning and thought, “Hey, I should do a handful of movies in a row. I’m not getting any younger!”, which is why we had that “Jack Ryan” movie last month, “3 Days to Kill” this month and next month’s “Draft Day”, with two more movies still on their way this year. Hopefully he’s planning on taking 2015 off entirely.
It might help McG, the director of “3 Days to Kill”, to take a cue from Costner the director. Here’s a guy who definitely needs to choose his next project wisely. Granted, the man born Joseph McGinty Nichol has earned a significant amount of success producing such television hits as “Chuck” and “Supernatural”, his last theatrical endeavors left much to be desired. I bet you forgot he directed the romantic action comedy “This Means War”, from a couple years back and thought his last outing was the much-maligned “Terminator: Salvation”. You’re not alone.
Based on the trailers, “3 Days to Kill” felt like it could be an interesting downshift for the director, making a feature revolving around a grizzled protagonist and possibly involving some intriguing characterization. Well, not quite. McG should’ve been more picky with his partnerships, because the writing duo of Adi Hasak and Luc Besson (“From Paris with Love”) has overwhelmed this movie with a rote and lazy screenplay. It’s a script filled with proverbials and requisites, where one can’t help but think that it might have taken them 3 days to write such a lazy exercise in genre conventions.
Edging close to retirement, Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA wetwork lifer who recently relocated to Paris to reconnect with his estranged wife, Christine (Connie Nielson) and teenage daughter, Zoe (Hailee Steinfeld). While tracking down stock terrorist types The Albino (Tómas Lemarquis) and The Wolf (Richard Sammel) - I kid you not, those are their names - Ethan is slowed down by a sudden debilitating illness which he soon learns is inoperable aggressive brain cancer. He’s told he has about three months to live. This provides a perfect reason to settle down and appreciate the family he’s missed for the past five years.
Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is Cornered in ‘3 Days to Kill’
Photo credit: Relativity Media