3 Days to Kill: Below Routine Actioner

3_Days_to_Kill_6_costnerThe new international thriller, “3 Days to Kill,” is a messy actioner that does not take full advantage of the caliber of its cast, workable premise, and location of glorious Paris.

Kevin Costner, who is aging well and continues to improve as an actor, plays Ethan Renner, a veteran spy who’s diagnosed with a brain tumor.  His goal is to retire and live the end of his life in quiet, peaceful way.

3_Days_to_Kill_3_heardFollowing the cliches of the gerne, before retirement, there is one more mission (improtant and final one!) to execute: Track down and kill a German terrorist who’s one of most dangerous men in the world, called “The Wolf” (played by Richard Sammel).

The mysterious Vivi (Amber Heard) comes up with an experimental drug that might prolong his life, even if it is unclear under what conditions and at what price.

3_Days_to_Kill_4_costner_heardThere is another complication: Ethan, who is estranged from his wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), has agreed to look after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years, while the wife is out of town.  In the past, he has kept both femmes at arm’s length to keep then out of danger.

In yet another unconvincing subplot: When Ethan returns to his Parisian flat, he suddenly realizes that it is occupied by new residents, a family of immigrant African squatters.  We are told that, according to French law, he cannot get rid of them until the spring.

Out of choice, they begin to know each other and soon form an uneasy alliance in which they agree to stay out of his room (full of weapons), while also watching the Wolf’s business associates being tormented by him in the bathroom, in a desperate effort to get information.

It turns out, also incredibly, that Ethan is the only person who’s seen the Wolf.  This notion seems to justify his self determination that he is destined kill the Wolf.

Before long, the so-called experimental drug gives Ethan hallucinations, particularly when his heart rate rises, that can only be controlled with the help of Vodka (Yes, you read it right).

Some attempts of injecting a dose of humor are made in arguments between the duo about semantics, such as whether facial hair is a moustache or goatee.

One of the “novelties” of the shallow, formulaic scenario is that the nationality of the terrorist is German, rather than the usual Muslim Arab.


Kevin Costner

Hailee Steinfeld

Amber Heard

Connie Nielsen


MPAA: PG-13.

Running time: 100 Minutes


Luc Besson and Adi Hasak.

Released wide by Relativity: Feb 21, 2014.