Kevin Costner is not the best actor in the world, but people like him. Men like him because he’s a man’s man who made three movies about baseball. Women like him because he’s rugged, yet sensitive. Of course, he is a handsome man, too.
In Three Days To Kill, we get Costner the gun-toting action hero. We also get Costner the absent husband and dad who’s trying to make up for time spent apart from his family. In TDTK, when those two worlds intersect, the results are funny, frightening, ridiculous and/or deadly.
Following a shootout and chase on foot, CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) collapses. A doctor tells him he has just a few months to live. He goes back to Paris to reconnect with his teenage daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld) before he dies. He tells his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) that he’s done with spook work.
Up pops the CIA’s Vivi (Amber Heard), driving a fast car and looking like a fantasy babe, offering Ethan an experimental drug that might save him from death. But only if he will eliminate CIA targets “The Albino” (Tomas Lemarquis) and “The Wolf” (Richard Sammel).
Ethan’s pursuit of these weapons dealers happens at the same time he is mending fences with the family, leading to a few cute intersections of the two story tracks. In the midst of tense action, his “I Don’t Care” ringtone signals a call from Zoey. A bad guy who is duct-taped to a toilet shares his mother’s recipe for spaghetti sauce by phone to Zoey.
Another storyline that reveals Ethan’s good nature (not expected from a CIA operative) involves squatters. When he finds his Paris apartment occupied by a large African family and learns the law protects them, he eventually shrugs and accepts it.
Does the action pic/family drama crossover work? Generally, yes. The action, including decent chase scenes, exciting shootouts and gory death, is good. And the family part, featuring some nice bonding between Ethan and Zoey, is sweet. Hailee Steinfeld’s performance is significantly better here than in 2010’s True Grit.
Three Days to Kill, directed by McG of Charlie’s Angels fame, moves along nicely and does not bog down. And, while the film’s outcomes are not unanticipated, McG keeps it interesting with quick transitions back and forth between the film’s two tracks. Costner fans, male and female, have a good movie to enjoy together.
TDTK is rated PG-13. Gunplay is excessive but the sex and cursing are minimal.