117 Min | Action – Crime – Drama | March 2014
IMDB Rating: 6.4
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
3 Days to Kill Review: Kevin Costner makes this material far better than it deserves to be. The tone breaks in to dark comedy territory at strange times and there never seems to be a coherent focus to anything. “3 Days to Kill” begins with a botched CIA operation that results in chaos and disaster. Sadly, this muddled mess parallels the film in its entirety, from the clichéd characters and their vacuous dialogue to the inconsistent tone and mismatched antics. Protagonists and antagonists alike alternate between dead seriousness and awkward humor in both conversation and action, creating a further rift in mood, which is most notable in the bizarre pairings of abduction and torture with parental advice and cooking recipes.
So much extraneous content and subplots pepper the film that it’s regularly difficult to separate plot from pointless detail. Complications on digressions take place for the sake of fluffing up the production into a nearly two-hour event. Unlike 1978’s “Foul Play,” which satirically mocked the spy movie stereotypes, inherent weirdness of murder mysteries, and “wrong man” mix-ups, the humor in “3 Days to Kill” takes the form of unintentionally bizarre meetings, villains with monikers like “The Albino,” “The Wolf,” and the “Italian Accountant,” and blackmail through trading empirical life-saving drugs for murders. In the end, resolutions aren’t even given, refusing to deliver definitive statements on Vivi’s involvement, Ethan’s health, or his wife’s intentions.
As can be expected from a Luc Besson screenplay (with the additive of direction by McG), “3 Days to Kill” chronicles a smorgasbord of seemingly random interactions of a “cleaner’s” family members, acquaintances and their families, and even the families of enemies or targets, infused with crime drama and action. It’s certainly not enough to help viewers choose sides; strangely chummy relationships with the men Ethan tortures, a teenaged girl who shrugs off attempted rape at a party, and a cold-blooded CIA bellwether all pose unconvincing, confused emotional and moral divisions. Amber Heard is the most miscast role, presenting a woman with unexplained actions, no reactions, ludicrous overconfidence, constantly changing hairstyles and colors, and dominatrix-styled skintight costumes that couldn’t be further from the covert spy operations she’s supposed to be masterminding.
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