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'3 Days to Kill' (review): Not Quite As Advertised

Relativity Media
Relativity Media

After seeing 3 Days to Kill, I felt slightly confused about the movie I just saw. From the previews, one would be left to assume you are going to see an action movie although I would say you have been deceived. It seems like a movie that can't seem to find its identity, is it an action or a dramatic movie? Honestly, it could be a little of both though it seems slightly more drama than action.

Directed by McG, who has few major motion picture director credits but does include Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation and This Means War, he is mostly known for his TV success. Luc Besson and Adi Hasak have writing credits for the screenplay. Although the story is by Luc Besson, who has brought us Taken, Transporter and Columbiana, which honestly should have clued the audience into the kind of movie they should expect. This collaborative team has more dramatic, action mixes and it seems to all mesh in this seemingly mess of a movie.

A-Lister Kevin Costner stars as Ethan Renner a CIA agent who while working in the field receives life changing news and must hang up his boots. He decides to try to become the father he never was to his teenage daughter, Zoey. After getting out of the game, he returns home with the promise of his old life being behind him. His wife leaves the two alone going out of the country for work. Ethan's work won't leave him alone though and Agent Vivi Delay played by Amanda Heard, promises him a second chance if he completes one last job, locating and killing "The Wolf".

Hailee Steinfeld, all grown up from her tough, sassy mouthed character in True Grit and better known for Ender’s Game, plays Zoey the typical teenage daughter to Ethan. For obvious reasons, she has a very brash attitude towards her father who she refers to by his name Ethan as opposed to any sentimental titles. Throughout the movie, we get the glimpses of the two learning to be father and daughter, through the brief periods of action and drama. Ethan combats a hair crisis, they enjoy activities from when she was younger, and Zoey pushes the limits as typical unruly teen.

Costner and Steinfeld share a tender dynamic on screen and audiences will be drawn in to watch as this relationship builds. Although they might feel the slight ping of disappointment that this is the heart beat of this “action movies” core. Costner gets his butt kicking moments as he tries to find his way towards The Wolf through characters such as The Albino and the accountant. It includes all the typical, almost goofy or obvious villain names. Audiences get brief action sequences mixed with tender father/daughter moments and in the end both feel a bit under developed to carry the movie one way or the other.

Despite the lack of ability to decide which type of movie this wanted to be, I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it. Kevin Costner has been busy acting in movies last month with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and in a couple months Draft Day premiering, he has been keeping himself busy. Although neither of his current releases has received rave reviews, audiences can enjoy this actor’s appearance back in the spotlight. Fans of the actor can appreciate this dramatic role although it might not be enough to save the overall movie. As long as you are prepared, audiences could find themselves enjoying this film, just don’t go in expecting non-stop, over the top action.