3 Days to Kill – DVD review 4/5 stars
Kevin Costner plays Ethan Renner, a dying CIA agent who is trying to reconnect with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld) is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment. “The Wolf”; a dangerous international terrorist who only Renner can identify; is planning a new operation and Renner’s femme fatale CIA handler Vivi (Amber Heard) is determined to keep Renner alive long enough to complete the mission. The problem with the whole plan is that Renner thinks he’s retired and has given up that high stakes life to finally build a closer relationship with his teenage daughter who he barely knows. He has three days to kill the Wolf but on those same three days he’s trying to prove to his wife that he can fit back into a normal life by taking care of Zooey, and she doesn’t know what Daddy does for a living.
Okay, it may not have been a great film, but I sure did enjoy it. Luc Besson has written (and directed) a lot of excellent films such as La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional, Jason Statham’s Transporter series and the Taken series with Liam Neeson. He’s also done a lot films that were just plain fun like Bandidas and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. His upcoming film Lucy with Scarlett Johansson looks to be really interesting as well and is certainly on my radar. 3 Days to Kill seemed to be an excellent mixture of everything Besson does best: strong writing, good characters, lots of action, mixed with a healthy dose of humour. McG (This Means War, Terminator Salvation, We Are Marshall, the Charlie’s Angels films) did a good job directing the film, and though I had heard of him before, I haven’t seen any of his other work yet. I remember thinking This Means War looked rather interesting, so perhaps I’ve got another film for my ever growing “to watch” list. The acting was solid from top to bottom and it seems everyone knew what they were trying to accomplish with the film and were on board. Costner was refreshingly good and he interacted nearly perfectly with Hailee Steinfeld who continues to be a tremendous young acting talent. The supporting characters were sharp and on target as well, even if some were a little cliché such as the trail of people Renner interrogates on his way to finding the Wolf, but they did help to balance out the action and the comedy of the film with a bit more realism, clichéd as it may be.
It seems 3 Days to Kill isn’t being loved by everyone, earning a 6.2 rating on IMDb and a 31% critic – 48% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. I think a lot of people just didn’t know how to take it. I took it for a fun film. Nothing too serious, nothing too complicated just fun, and I enjoyed it as such. Light hearted action, exciting chases and shoot outs, humourous character interactions and a bit of a touching family reunion story thrown in for good measure, I think 3 Days to Kill successfully spanned and merged several genres and can be highly enjoyable if you go into it in the right frame of mind. It wasn’t great but it was good, and certainly good enough to be entertaining.
Bottom Line: I hadn’t given this one much of a thought until I found out Luc Besson was attached to it, and you know what, I’ll probably keep watching his work and probably (hopefully) will continue to be impressed.