Movie Review: 3 Days to Kill

Mar 15, 2014, 08:00 IST | Mihir Fadnavis

One day Kevin Costner saw Liam Neeson's Taken and decided to star in a family drama action move

3 Days to Kill
U/A: Action
Dir: McG
Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard

One day Kevin Costner saw Liam Neeson’s Taken and decided to star in a family drama action move. That’s exactly what the production history of 3 Days to Kill seems to be. Except, Costner isn’t Neeson, but a haggard and wimpy version of his character, and 3 Days to Kill isn’t Taken, but a lame version of that film. 

Kevin Costner (right) stars as yet another tired spy as if we haven’t had enough of such characters 

Let’s face it — McG isn’t a good feature filmmaker. He has made two Charlie’s Angels movies, the most boring Terminator movie and last year’s This is War. He might be great with ads, but feature filmmaking is clearly not his forte. And he makes this point crystal clear in 3 Days to Kill. The film is utterly ridiculous, but tries to play it straight and pretends to be a serious drama. There’s even quite a bit of comedy in it but it’s the garden variety. Tonally, the film is a mess. And it doesn’t help that it fumbles narratively as well.

Costner stars as yet another tired spy with family issues, as if we haven’t had enough of those characters from Hollywood already. The twist in this is that his spy character has brain tumour and he has three months to live. That apart, he does everything Neeson does in Taken — he protects his estranged daughter from dangerous criminals with his set of skills and saves the world. It really is audacious the way filmmakers go about with this premise; they have no qualms about serving us a barrage of clichés, an endless supply of uninteresting characters and ludicrous drama.

It’s also jarringly bipolar as it shifts from somber grittiness to popcorn comedy, stumbling through its runtime with no focus or perspective.

The film is written by Luc Besson and it shows. It has all elements and the ‘look’ of cheap and disposable thrillers that he has been churning out over the past decade. Even Taken was his brainchild and he goes ahead and rips off his own film, that’s how lazy 3 Days to Kill is. The lone positive here is Amber Heard playing not a double or a triple but a quadruple agent and she sort of understands the silliness of the plot. If only the rest of the cast were in on the joke.

Costner, on the other hand, is dull in an effort to remain ‘serious’. The villains are straight out of video games; one of them will remind you of the antagonist of Hitman 2. To its credit, the film also has an opening scene where a secret agent mission goes bust; this sequence is quite thrilling and original — sadly, it seems like it belongs to a different movie.

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