From producer and co-writer Luc Besson and director McG (Charlie’s Angels) comes 3 Days to Kill. Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA agent, who finds himself diagnosed with terminal cancer and is given only months to live. Forced into retirement, Ethan travels to Paris in the hopes to reconnect with his estranged daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), who he’s looking after for three days while his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) is out of town on business. However, Vivi Delay (Amber Heard), the handler of Ethan’s previous assignment, shows up wanting Ethan to perform one last job, in exchange for an experimental drug that may extend Ethan’s life. Ethan reluctantly agrees and proceeds to spend the next three days trying to balance his professional life with his personal one.
3 Days to Kill is far from a perfect film and in fact there are many elements of the plot that don’t really make a lot of sense if you stop to think about them. However, despite the flaws, the film still ended up being a somewhat decent piece of escapist entertainment, which helps to waste away the afternoon. In many ways, the actual job Ethan is given doesn’t really matter all that much, which is demonstrated by the fact that the villains have generic names, such as “The Albino” or “The Wolf.” The film is much more about Ethan’s attempts to reconnect with his daughter, even if they end up disrupting his work as a CIA assassin. There is recurring gag in the film, where Ethan’s cellphone (with pop song ringtone) will often go off when he is either interrogating or tailing somebody.
3 Days to Kill is one of many recent attempts by Kevin Costner to get back into the spotlight, after appearing quite sparingly in films over the last decade or so. I doubt Costner is going to full-out reinvent himself as an action star, like Liam Neeson did with Taken, but I still thought that he did a decent enough job with this film. Amber Heard definitely has the more showy role in the film, which often has her changing hair colour in practically every scene she is in. Her character is ultimately merely a means to an end and, other than telling Ethan what to do, Vivi does not really contribute much to the film as a whole. This was also the first film I saw with Hailee Steinfeld, since her big breakout with True Grit back in 2010. I would say that she is fine enough in the role, even though it was a character that could’ve been played by just about anyone.
Overall, while 3 Days to Kill doesn’t linger much in my mind past its running time, I still thought that the film was a decent enough way to waste an afternoon.7 | FAIR