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3 Days to Kill




3 Days to Kill (PG-13)
Film Reviews February 27,2014

02/27/14
By Amy Diaz adiaz@hippopress.com



 A retired CIA agent has to do One Last Job in 3 Days to Kill, a crazy mess of action and, I think, comedy (is that comedy they’re doing?) meant to re-sell us on Kevin Costner as action star.

Ethan Renner (Costner) is a top-notch CIA agent whose last mission goes wrong when an illness (brain-lung something-er-other; MacGuffinitis, let’s say) knocks him out during the chase of a bad-guy known as The Albino (Tómas Lemarquis) and his boss The Wolf (Richard Sammel). When he wakes up in a hospital bed, he’s told he has only a few months to live and that the CIA thanks him for his service, i.e. you’re fired. Ethan decides to spend the time he has left putting things right with his ex-wife Christine (Connie Nelson) and teenage daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), who now live in Paris. Christine lets him stay with them only if he promises that he’s completely out of the life. Of course, no sooner does Ethan make that promise than he’s picked up by Vivi (Amber Heard). Vivi was the agent running the operation where Ethan let the bad guys slip and she wants his help in tracking them down. In exchange, she’ll give him injections of an experimental drug that can cure MacGuffinitis. Ethan agrees and finds himself trying to balance the chasing down of international criminals with parenting a moody teenager.
And that, I think is the comedy element. Probably. The effect is similar to how it would feel if a clown making balloon animals suddenly appeared in the middle of Taken. OK, I think this is funny, you’d say, but I’m also unsure what’s happening.
Between the whiplash between tones (action! now comedy! now family drama!) and the herky-jerky visuals meant to alert us to hallucinations brought on by Ethan’s experimental drugs, 3 Days to Kill feels like a movie pieced together from parts of a movie wherein scenes had to be deleted because a key actor died halfway through and some sitcom scenes somebody had lying around. At times, when Ethan is beating somebody up while also complaining about Zoey’s freakout over her hair, you think the movie is going for zany Ride Along territory (the recent movie that adds a topping of buddy-cop to Kevin Hart’s stand-up). But then it seems like the movie wants to be more of a kin to Taken — particularly in a sequence where Ethan goes to rescue Zoey.  
The movie never picks a tone and never really engages you in its mash of story parts. D+
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language. Directed by McG with a screenplay by Adi Hasak & Luc Besson, 3 Days to Kill is an hour and 53 minutes long and is distributed by Relativity Media.
 
As seen in the February 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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