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3 Days To Kill - Review

3 Days To Kill

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

TAKE one ageing star, add a script co-written by Luc Besson and head to Paris for an action thriller built around a man with a particular set of skills who also just happens to want to reunite with an estranged daughter, and surely you have the ingredients for the next Taken, right?

Wrong. 3 Days To Kill, while desperate to reinvent Kevin Costner in the same way that Besson and company did with Liam Neeson, is an inferior wannabe that never really catches fire.

Costner plays former CIA agent/assassin Ethan Renner, now diagnosed with terminal cancer, and desperate for the chance to put things right with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter (Hailee Steinfeld).

But when his former colleagues offer him a new contract to take out a nuclear weapons dealer known as The Wolf in return for an experimental drug that may prolong his life, Ethan finds himself juggling paternal responsibility with another round of spy games.

Directed by McG (of Charlie’s Angels/Terminator Salvation infamy), 3 Days To Kill is a crude mix of violent thriller and father-daughter bonding that continually short-changes its high calibre cast, not to mention viewers.

Primarily, its tone is all over the place, especially in the way that it tries to mix scenes of torture or death with some of the more touchy-feely stuff (sometimes in the same scene), while the script is dire, with even Costner’s character, at one point, forced to ask, ‘did you really just say that to me?’

But McG’s direction is also typically unappealing, opting for exploitative or brash over anything more considered, inventive or endearing. Hence, what could and perhaps should have been a guilty pleasure, or at the very least a so bad it’s good type of experience, ends up being a bad film made worse by the constant reminders of what it’s trying to emulate.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 117mins
UK Release Date: June 20, 2014