Review: 3 Days to Kill

Kevin Costner and Amber Heard in 3 Days to Kill.
Kevin Costner and Amber Heard in 3 Days to Kill.

2 Hours to Kill
Rating: ZERO

When the credits for 3 Days to Kill rolled, a person sitting near me read out the name “Luc Besson”. And he went on to make fun of it, relating it to Besant Nagar and the word “luck”. Having watched the film and a lot of other films by Besson, I think he is abusing his luck.

3 Days to Kill starts off like any action film starring Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Neeson or Harrison Ford – an aging protagonist known for “old school” violence. And much like the aging Murtagh from Lethal Weapon  who famously quoted “I’m too old for this shit”, Kevin Costner too displays similar symptoms.

But, is Kevin Costner really old for this shit? He surely hasn’t done action films in a while. He truly belongs to the sports genre (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup) and maybe the crime genre (The Untouchables). Being a one-man army has never been on Costner’s resume.

Being a one-man army wasn’t on Liam Neeson’s resume either. But, look at him now! Taken and its sequel, Non Stop, The A-Team and Unknown are all proof that Neeson is this generation’s John Wayne. He’s old. He’s a gunslinger. He’s got the looks.

And who made Neeson a bankable action star? It’s lucky Luc Besson, who has been a part of at least 50 films, as a writer, producer and sometimes a director. He’s known as “the John Hughes of action films”. But, there are signs that he’s losing his touch.

Take 3 Days to Kill where Ethan Renner (Costner) a veteran CIA agent is suffering from terminal brain cancer. In the film we are introduced to a young blonde CIA assassin named Vivi (Amber Heard) who looks more like a swimsuit model than a trigger-happy killer. Oh, and why do female assassins wear spandex costumes when killing someone? Wouldn’t it be better to dress like a normal person because it will be easy to blend in the crowd when getting away? And at this point, let’s totally not question why the said assassin shows off her glowing blonde hair and thick red lipstick when she’s pulling the trigger.

Ethan is told about an experimental drug that can extend his life and in return must help Vivi find a terrorist leader, who is known as ‘the Wolf’. Really? You’d wonder. From the Jackal to the Wolf, look at how villainous characters are named these days. And, here’s the funny part. To get the Wolf, they must first capture his right hand man, ‘the Albino’.

People in the cinema hall were laughing when they heard that the code names of an elite terrorist group were based on alpine wildlife.

And then, there’s the emotional baggage that he carries. Ethan has an estranged relationship with his family. When he’s not tracking down terrorists, he’s making amends with his daughter, played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit is still on my mind).

If you’re wondering why this review is out of touch in terms of context, it’s because I’m still in a state of shock. I cannot believe that someone made a blunder of a movie and managed to cast Kevin Costner in the lead role.



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