"3 Days To Kill" Review: Craig's First Take

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A dying Secret Service Agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.
1.5

Kevin Costner has “3 Days to Kill” but nobody seems to have told him that the script to this turd was dead already. Non-credit goes to Luc Besson, the once great (“The Professional”, “The Fifth Element”) French filmmaker who now just churns out effortless action movies as if each generic shoot-out will get him a tax credit.

Costner sleepwalks his way through the role of Ethan, a CIA veteran just diagnosed with brain cancer that has spread to his lungs. Knowing he only has months to live, he decides to head to Paris in order to reconnect with his ex-wife (Connie Nielson) and teen daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), promising both that he’s done with the violent life and he’s ready to share what time he has remaining with them.

Then Vivi (Amber Heard) shows up. Vivi looks like a model on one of those Babes Shooting Guns websites—honestly if there was a Hollywood Mount Rushmore of hotness, Heard is on mine—and that’s pretty much the only interest the movie has in her character. She arrives in Paris to give Ethan an experimental drug and in exchange he will go on a three day spree, killing or interrogating anyone associated with a never-before-seen international terrorist nicknamed the Wolf.

But while he’s doing this, he’ll also get a chance to play Mr. Mom to his teenage daughter, as the wife is out of town and entrusting him with the responsibility of babysitting. It’s an uneven mix of shoot-outs and decapitations combined with father-daughter moments like teaching her how to ride a bike combined with comedy that either consists of terrible jokes (Ethan wears jeans and a jacket, leading some French guy to compare him to “Brokeback Mountain”) or weird shifts from serious to light-hearted (I’m still not sure why squatters needed to take over Ethan’s Paris apartment, I think it was meant as comic relief).

Sometimes Ethan asking family value advice from someone he’s torturing is kinda funny but that joke hardly has the mileage to power the movie. The fact of the matter is, Besson isn’t funny. Last year’s “The Family” proved that. He and director McG, or McGodawful (“Charlie’s Angels”, “Terminator Salvation”) if you look at the resume, just don’t know how to make all these different elements work together.