I love a good extended weekend. Three whole days to sleep in, watch Netflix, catch up with family, and possibly kill some terrorists? Well maybe not the last one, but you get the idea. Anything can happen, especially when you’re an occupation involves espionage and you are estranged from your family with only a short time left to live. Hijinks will obviously ensue.
Ethan (Kevin Costner) is your typical work obsessed spy who is forced into retirement after he finds out he only has a few months to live. With such a limited time, he returns to the wife and daughter, Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), he hasn’t seen in over 5 years in an attempt to reconnect before he dies. Ethan may have longer time when secret agent Vivi (Amber Heard) offers him an experimental miracle drug in exchange for tracking down and taking out a terrorist during the same weekend he was supposed to be taking care of Zoey.
This film is an obvious creation of Luc Besson’s, and not just because it’s set in France, or because it’s an attempt at an action/comedy, but because he tried it before a year ago with the film The Family. Besson is still trying to recreate the success of The Fifth Element, but unable to blend action and comedy together without one of them feeling forced. In this the case, it was the comedy that felt forced, and because of that, 3DTK didn’t come off as the parody it should have. Instead, it comes off as a poorly written action film where every villain is an 70’s stereotype, from the effeminate albino to the Italian called Guido. The only thing left to entertain now is the action.
Director McG (This Means War, Terminator: Salvation) is no novice to action films about spies, so the action sequences are fairly entertaining with at least a couple of very engaging gun and fist fights. Unfortunately, that is nowhere near enough to compensate for the overall unidentifiable tone the movie is switching through at random. There are moments where you are supposed to feel some sort of compassion for Ethan’s daughter and wife, but all you can think about is didn’t we force an Italian guy to tell us his mother’s pasta sauce recipe at gunpoint in the bathroom of an apartment filled with a family of squatters? Yeah, there is a bit of a disconnect there.
The only other redeemable factor, aside from the okay action sequences, would have to be Kevin Costner’s almost complete nonchalance throughout the film. He was able to cut loose, and in my opinion, just do whatever the hell he wanted to. I’m sure more than a few of those scenes were just him out of character reacting naturally. There is one truly funny moment, which is a nod to another of Costner’s film, The Bodyguard, sans the Whitney Houston song playing in the background unfortunately. Hailee Steinfeld plays a teenage daughter with some daddy issues, and even though she doesn’t do a bad job, her role in this film is forgettable at best (we can only hope).
3 Days To Kill shows us just how much you can accomplish in 3 days when the world is a giant, stereotyped action film, and you are the hero who overcomes absurd situations with even more cliched absurdity. This is not your weekend if you’re expecting stability because this film goes through more mood swings than the teenage daughter.
RATING: ★★★★(4/10 stars)
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