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Movie Review: 3 Days to Kill

By Edited May 17, 2016 0 0

Certificate 12A, 117 minutes

Director: McG

Stars: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen

In 3 Days to Kill Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Man of Steel) is an operative for the CIA who is working on an assignment, involving many other people, in Belgrade, Serbia. They are to find and kill an arms dealer known as The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his associate The Albino (Tómas Lemarquis) - it's not clear why he's called that, as he doesn't actually appear to be an albino - who are apparently planning to sell a "dirty" bomb - regular explosives with radioactive material surrounding it. The operation goes quite badly wrong, with many of the team killed. As a result of the disaster, Ethan ends up in hospital, where it is discovered he has advanced cancer and has only a few months left to live.

3 Days to Kill
Ethan decides to quit working for the CIA and, in the time he has left, try to repair the relationship he has with his family. He returns to Paris, where his estranged wife, Christine (Connie Nielsen), and teenage daughter, Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld, Ender's Game), are living, and where he himself also has an apartment, albeit one that is currently occupied by squatters. It would appear that Christine knows who he worked for, but that his daughter didn't. Ethan isn't particularly good at this bit, as he has had almost no practice, and neither Christine nor Zooey are particularly cooperative about his recent change of heart after years of neglect.

The CIA are still trying to catch The Wolf, though, and it seems that Ethan may well be able to recognise him. Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) offers him an experimental - read: practically untested - cancer drug that may be able to slow down his cancer, or even more, in return for his help in tracking down and killing The Wolf. Ethan is then left trying to improve his relationship with his daughter, whilst at the same time hunt down an arms dealer.

One of the biggest problems that the film suffers from is that there aren't really any other characters apart from Ethan, even those that have screen time. Everyone else appears to be at best a stereotype and, at worst, a cardboard cut-out. Christine is a standard estranged wife who still loves her husband, Zooey is a typical rebellious teenager who has no relationship with the father she has barely seen, The Wolf and The Albino don't get enough screen time to be worthy of a mention - it's possible that their parts could have been literally played by cardboard cut-outs - and Amber Heard seems to be playing a more one dimensional version of her character from Machete Kills.

3 Days to Kill isn't really an action film, or even an action thriller - there are some decent action scenes in it, but these are interspersed amidst the familial relationship scenes. This doesn't work too badly, but it could have been better. One of the best touches is the bits of occasional humour spread through the film, as Ethan seeks advice and help with his daughter from unlikely sources - namely, the people he is interrogating in order to help track down The Wolf. 3 Days to Kill is an okay film but it could have been better, as even the twist doesn't actually seem that surprising - and, to a certain extent, it feels crowbarred into the plot.
3 Days to Kill egdcltd 2014-07-03 3.0 0 5
3/5
3 Days to Kill
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of May 17, 2016)
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