Humor is the Secret Weapon in 3 Days to Kill
- Friday, February 21, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: February 21, 2014
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language)
Run Time: 113 min.
Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielson, Tomas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel, Bruno Ricci
Aside from the television mini-series Hatfields & McCoys that aired back in 2012, it's been a while since Kevin Costner has played the leading man. But after a couple of successful supporting turns in Man of Steel and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Costner is now channeling his inner Liam Neeson in a movie that feels eerily reminiscent of Taken.
Considering that Luc Besson, the writer and producer of Taken and Taken 2, also penned the screenplay for 3 Days to Kill, well, the similarities are probably no accident. Since audiences have flocked to his previous films, why mess too much with a formula that’s already worked, right?
In terms of pure popcorn entertainment, 3 Days to Kill is actually a lot more fun than Taken and its so-so sequel. While the plot is just as preposterous with the audience's full suspension of disbelief required, the secret weapon in 3 Days to Kill is humor. While no one will mistake 3 Days to Kill for great art, the artfully choreographed action sequences and zingy script provide an enjoyable-enough diversion that's never boring.
In the role of the aging hero, Costner is definitely in on the joke and is clearly having fun kicking the bad guys to the curb. Looking tired, cranky and a little rough around the edges, Costner plays Ethan, a lifetime CIA assassin who's recently been issued a death sentence.
As it turns out, the cough he couldn't quite shake is something far worse—terminal brain cancer. Given only months to live, Ethan desperately wants to make amends with the family he's never made a priority. So he heads to Paris to reconnect with his wife Christine (Connie Nielsen, TV's The Following) and teenage daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit).
Naturally, mother and daughter are both skeptical of Ethan's motives, but reluctantly give him a chance to prove himself. While Christine is a relatively soft touch, especially when Ethan promises he's left his dangerous work behind for good, Zooey is far more difficult to win over. Smack dab in the middle of her teenage rebellious phase, she thinks her dad is far too lame to take seriously.
When Christine is summoned for a last-minute business trip in London, however, Ethan sees it as an opportunity to step up to the plate. Volunteering to stay with Zooey, Ethan hopes to be a loving, engaged father for the first time. But his first stab at full-time parenting is about to get even more complicated, thanks to an employment offer he can't refuse.
Knowing Ethan doesn't really have anything to lose because of his recent diagnosis, a vampy CIA operative named ViVi (an under-utilized Amber Heard, The Rum Diary) tracks him down in Paris for one last job. In exchange for a few hits on a mysterious arms dealer and his equally lethal cohorts, she'll provide generous compensation and experimental meds that might prolong his life.
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