3 Days to Kill (2014)
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Amber Heard
Plot: Aging CIA agent with serious health problems tries to get some family time in but is forced to do one last job because the CIA hates families!
Rating: PG-13 for gunplay, explosions, and close quarter punchin’ and kickin’.
Hey kids. Let me tel you all about this movie I just watched! It stars an aging movie star who plays a badass assassin…
No, its not Taken.
Anyway, he has a young daughter he’s trying to shield from his dangerous career but…
No, it’s not Taken 2.
It’s written by Luc Besson and it has some car chases and gunfights and..
No! Its not Taken 3, which is coming to a theater near you on January 9, 2015!
Why do we always have to argue when I’m doing the blog?
3 Days to Kill stars Kevin Costner, the untouchable man who danced with wolves and fielded dreams in Waterworld. He plays Ethan Renner, a veteran CIA spy on a mission with his team to capture a pale bad guy known as The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis) who is trying to sell a dirty bomb to some dirty people. Unfortunately, things turn south as the often do in these movies and bullets start flying and stuff gets blown up and lots of European guys get dead. Oh, and the Albino escapes.
Feeling a bit under the weather after the disasterous mission, Ethan gets a checkup from his CIA doctor and finds out he’s got a brain tumor that will kill him faster than Message in a Bottle killed his comeback in 1999.
Hoping to make the most of the last few months he has, Ethan heads back to Paris to reconnect with his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) and his daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld) who he abandoned long ago for the demands of his job. Christine barely tolerates his return and Zooey knows very little about her Dad, and wonders if he is in fact a travelling salesman as he claims to be. Maybe it’s because he always smells like gunpowder and is covered in fresh bruises whenever he visits.
But before Ethan can book is first daddy/daughter day, he is approached by another CIA operative Vivi (Amber Heard) who makes him an offer the former Prince of Thieves cannot refuse: find and kill The Albino’s boss, a man known only as The Wolf, and Ethan will receive an experimental drug that will cure him.
Ethan is not so sure if he can trust Vivi, but since she gives him a sample of the treatment for free, and since he has to do something during the day when Zooey is at school, he takes the job.
Before we continue with the review, I’d like to go of on a slight tangent.
Look, I know we as movie viewers are expected to suspend disbelief a bit when we watch these CIA spy type films, but Vivi is without a doubt the worst secret agent in the history of movies.
First, she maintains a “low profile” by wearing a Lady Gaga wig and dressing like a European dominatrix:
Second, in keeping with the “I’m a spy so I must maintain a low profile” thing, she tools around Paris at breakneck speed in a sports car:
And finally, Viv the super covert /don’t attract any attention/ leave no traces/ top secret spy racks up a body count that rivals the opening 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan:
Just so we are clear, WORST. SPY. EVER.
Okay, tangent over. I won’t pick on Vivi any more. I’m sure leather corsets are in the CIA budget somewhere.
Anyhoo, the rest of 3 Days to Kill jumps back and forth between Ethan trying to win back his estranged daughter and Ethan trying to hunt down and kill The Wolf. There’s also subplots involving the African family squatting in Ethan’s old apartment, and a henchman for The Albino who Ethan kidnaps for information then kidnaps a few more times to ask him for parental advice when he learns the guy has teenage daughters of his own.
See? A top secret CIA spy has regular problems just like the rest of us regular Joes!
3 Days to Kill draws to a rousing and bullet riddled climax when Ethan’s two worlds collide during a huge party at the penthouse apartment owned by the family of Zooey’s boyfriend. You thought your Mom and Dad meeting your sweetheart’s Mom and Dad for the first time was awkward, you should try it with gunplay! Hoo boy! I hope the caterers brought some extra bandages!
Despite having the writer from Taken, the father/daughter dynamic of Taken, and the European setting of Taken, I have to admit I was not taken at all by 3 Days to Kill. Costner took the director’s note to look tired and sickly and ran with it, because he looks like he’d rather be someplace else the entire movie, and Amber Heard’s character is from a completely different movie altogether.
That movie is about the WORST. SPY. EVER.