The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

3 Days to Kill | Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Connie Nielsen, Hailee Steinfeld | Review

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1sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is STINKER Judy Thorburn

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1lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is STINKER


Kevin Costner deserves better than this. More often than not he has proven to be a fine actor.  Most recently he turned in two good supporting performances, in last year's Man of Steel and in this year's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  Now he gets star billing in this clunker of a movie that has no redeeming value other than the gorgeous picture postcard Paris locations.

It is a far cry, but Costner has gone from Dancing with Wolves to Killing the Wolf. Maybe it was the wolf reference (which, by the way, has nothing to do with Wall Street) that caught his initial attention to sign on as the lead.

Costner plays Ethan Renner, a veteran CIA spy/assassin who is ready to hang it all up after 32 years and move on with his life when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Told by his doctor he has only three months to live, the absentee father and husband, whose marriage was destroyed by his work, decides to make the best of whatever time he has left and re-connect and build a relationship with his estranged teenage daughter, Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld) and wife, Tina (Connie Nielsen).

Easier said than done, after he is confronted by Vivi (Amber Heard) a sultry CIA handler/femme fatale (looking like a strange mix of dominatrix and Vogue fashion model) who makes him an offer he can't refuse, promising to give him an experimental drug to extend his life in exchange for accepting one last assignment, finding and killing an international terrorist dealing in dirty bombs known as The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his enforcer, The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis).

What Ethan soon discovers is the drug he is given for his illness accelerates his heartbeat and has an hallucinogenic side effect that interferes with his mission, requiring him to belt down some vodka to alleviate it. Yeah, right!
Even with his wits about him, in the middle of work, Ethan is constantly being interrupted with cell phone calls (with Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care” as his ringtone) from his daughter who thinks he works in sales.

If that isn't absurd enough, the entire storyline is riddled with ridiculous and/ or silly elements as Ethan tries to juggle quality time with his family and his dangerous work.  To put it bluntly, 3 Days to Kill, as directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels,This Means War, Terminator: Salvation) from a screenplay by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak, is a discombobulated mess that is all over the place in regards to narrative, tone, and execution.  Is it a comedy, action thriller, or family drama?  In an effort to blend all three, the movie is a dismal failure on all levels.

Thrown into the disjointed storyline is Zooey's growing romance with a French boy, and Ethan coming home to his Paris apartment only to find a warm and friendly African family, complete with pregnant teenage daughter, has moved in as squatters.  The family, to no surprise, is a pretentious, contrived plot device for Ethan to eventually grasp the importance of a close knit, loving family. And get this. After kidnapping and proceeding to torture an Italian accountant, and a limo driver with twin daughters, who have valuable information concerning the whereabouts of The Wolf, the men are only happy and eager to give him advice about parenting. The supposedly witty back and forth banter is laughable....laughably bad.

With all these distractions from the mission at hand, it is misleading to call Three Days to Kill “a heart pounding action thriller” when there are few and far between action sequences other than a couple of intermittent fights, an obligatory car chase that takes place through the streets of Paris, and the climatic face off at the end.

Obviously, there is no way I can recommend Three Days to Kill, other than if you have two hours to kill.

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