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3 Days To Kill

By Jon Rutledge

I am a fan of Luc Besson and 3 Days To Kill was based on a story written by him. He was a producer but he clearly didn't direct, but it's his clear contributions to the story that bring the characters to life - those characters, well, those characters are badasses.

Director McG (Terminatior Salvation) isn't exactly high on my list of "must sees", but here under the guidence of Besson he does a decent job with the film. With McG at the director’s chair my first fear is that he wouldn’t take the material seriously. He lost my attention on the Charlie's Angels films, however, I'll admit I was nervous for no reason - he nails this.

Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner), an aging CIA agent, finds out he is dying and is released from service to spend whatever time he has left to be with his estranged family. Vivi (Amber Heard) from the agency needs him for "one last job", a job that will give him a chance to close the last case he worked on that ended in failure.

Payment for his service is access to an experimental drug that will extend his life. Classic Besson!

His Ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) is sent on a business trip, leaving Ethan to deal with his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and try to find an arms trafficker, all while not getting his heart rate up or the drugs will give him hallucinations. Classic Besson!

There is a trend recently in films that have the action hero be an older gentleman. Kevin Costner does fit into that category, however I've never seen him as a true action hero - but here he does a stellar job with the precision fighting sequences that usually comes along with a Besson film, but also excels with the softer scenes as a loving father.

There is an unusual sub plot of Ethan dealing with a family that has been squatting in his safe house (for some bizarre legal reasons the French justice systems says you can’t evict squatters if they are squatting in the winter time) however they turn out to be his lifeline to humanity. There are some really good moments with the youngest son of the family, which again is a testament to the heart Costner brings.

My only criticism of the film is that they call one of the bad guys "The Albino" (Tómas Lemarquis) despite the fact he looks nothing like one. He's the classic bad guy who goes out of his way to kill people in fancy ways instead of just putting two in their head. It just seemed odd and only placed there as a way to give our hero a way out.

Overall, there is a true balance of action, family drama, humour and suspense. Many films lose their focus on this and fall flat, 3 Days To Kill however is well made and that gives you just enough of each.Catch this Netflix film but make sure to catch it before they rotate it off the streaming list.

Conclusion: Movie: 80%

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