About these ads

Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

3 Days to Kill (2014)


We all know that when daddy says he’s going on a “business trip”, that he’s really just going off to some foreign country and kill terrorists.

CIA agent Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is good at his job and knows how to get it done, however, that all begins to change once he receives news that he is terminally-ill. Faced with about four-to-five months left to live, Ethan decides that maybe it’s time for him to start working on the job in his life that he never was good at it: Being the husband to his wife (Connie Nielsen), and especially being the father to his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld). Though they initially resent him, due to all of those years where he was constantly on the road in “sales meetings”, eventually, Ethan finds a way to connect with the two women in his life that mean the most to him, and will hopefully be there for him when he eventually has to bite the dust. However though, another woman steps into his life in the form of CIA sex-bomb, Vivi Delay (Amber Heard). Vivi wants one thing and one thing only: For him to complete his final mission and get rid of some terrorist named “the Wolf”. If he can do this, she’ll give him one thing in return, a life-saving, experimental drug that only she knows about and is more than willing to give Ethan.

In all honesty, I don’t understand this whole “tired guy gets back in the field of action and violence” sub-genre that’s been so popular for the past couple of years since Taken attacked our movie-screens, and practically took (pun intended), us all by surprise. Not only did it show us that an aging, nearly-forgotten actor like Liam Neeson could still pull in plenty of people to see his movie, but all he had to do was get a couple of guns, pull-off a couple of sweet, ass-kicking moves and talk on the phone in a menacing, yet very determined whisper. That’s it, and now look at him! The guy’s on top-of-the-movie-world and finally getting some of the respect he so rightfully seems to deserve. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that these older stars are getting their chances to finally shine the spotlight, but it just seems weird that movie-going audiences actually pay a lot of money, go out and want to see them.

She could kill me whenever she wanted.

I’d let her kill me whenever she’d want to.

But of course though, in Hollywood, once one person finds their stride and a whole load of success, and eventually, others follow suite.

Such is the case with 3 Days to Kill, where instead of getting Qui-Gon Jinn to whoop some fine-ass, it’s that guy who dances with wolves. Or the guy who made Waterworld. Either way you put it, it’s Kevin Costner in the lead-role, and he’s definitely worth mentioning first, because he’s probably the best thing this movie has going for it. For quite some time, I’ve stayed firmly on the side of Team Costner, and forever, I’ve been telling everybody, “Just you wait. Kev’s going to be back in action, and better than ever.” Not only am I very happy that I won a few bets in the meantime, but I’m incredibly ecstatic to see that comeback come to life because the dude’s been putting-out exceptional work for years and years, it’s just that nobody seems to really be paying attention to him, his movies or just anything he touches. At least, not like they used too, anyway.

However, now, Costner’s in full comeback-mode and it’s time to live it up and party like it’s 1989!

All jokes aside though, Costner is definitely the main reason to see this movie, because while it is fairly obvious that this is clearly paycheck gig, and nothing more, Costner at least tries, by not trying at all. Here, in his role as Ethan Renner, Costner’s really down-playing it and almost looks like he’s about to fall asleep every second the camera puts it focus on him. In some cases, I would usually be quite pissed-off at Costner for putting in such a lack-of-effort on his part, but somehow, I wasn’t pissed because it ended-up working for this character he was playing. Ethan Renner is the type of worn-down, beat-up and exhausted kind of seasoned-pro we get to see in these types of movies, but Costner does it with such charm and ease, that it almost seems like he isn’t even trying. Which, need I remind you, is a good thing, people! It’s K-Cost for Christ’s sakes!

Like I mentioned before though, it’s a shame that Costner seems to be the only thing really working for this movie, because everything else is sort of just here and ready for to be seen on the surface, but it doesn’t really go any deeper than that. In a better movie, handled by more capable-hands (more on that in seconds), the relationship that Costner holds with his daughter, played by Steinfeld, would have been rich with human-emotion and complexities. But somehow, with McG working it, it’s just passably entertaining and seems like an after-thought in the mind of his own. Instead, McG would much rather focus in on the non-stop barrage of numerous scenes of PG-13 action, terror and violence, which isn’t always bad, but feels manipulative after awhile, considering how many times people get shot here and yet, NO FREAKIN’ BLOOD IS SHOWN!!

Wake up in the mornin', feelin' like Kev Cost.

Wake up in the mornin’, feelin’ like Kev Cost.

I get it, you want to sell tickets and try to make some cold, hard cash in the meantime, but McG tries really hard to cover up the more graphic, naughty material presented here. For instance, there’s a scene inside of strip-club where we see a topless dancer, clearly being half-naked and grinding up and down on a pole, yet, we hardly see any boobs, due to the fact that they are being covered-up by an obvious, gray cloud of CGI smoke. And to make matters worse, another half-naked topless dancer shows up on the stage, only to start making out with the other. What the hell!?!??! How the heck doesn’t something like this not get an R-rating, and better yet, why couldn’t it? If McG decided to push the limits just a bit, we would have a way better, more exciting thriller on our hands here; but rather, we have a jumbled-up, slightly incoherent action-flick that, of all people, McG got a chance to work with.

Why him, Hollywood?!?! Seriously, why this dude?!?!?

Of course, I can’t quite get on this movie’s case too much, because I truly didn’t hate it, it’s just a mess. However, the moments that did work for me, were more than enough to make up for whatever the hell McG was trying to do. The supporting cast is really the main reason why this movie works as well as it does, but if I had to name names, I’d probably have to mention Hailee Steinfeld as she really does give it her all as Ethan’s estranged daughter, giving the role all of the smart-arsed teen-sass we’ve come to expect from these types of roles to be written. Sure, it’s a stock-character we’ve seen done before, but her many scenes with Costner actually can be sweet to watch, and are sure than enough to take your mind off of whatever the heck was going on with Amber Heard’s character, along with her whole CIA-mission subplot this movie tried cramming down our throats. Not only did it not really matter to us who was doing what, for what reason, and why, but Amber Heard, despite how foxy she is, can’t help but feel random and misplaced in a movie that doesn’t know what to do with her, other than give her tight outfits to bust-out of and change wigs. That’s it. Amber Heard, in a nutshell. Good for you, Johnny Boy!

Consensus: In case you couldn’t tell by now, McG is not a very good director, and is the main reason why 3 Days to Kill is such a mess, yet, an occasionally entertaining one with two solid performances from both Haliee Steinfeld and a charming Kevin Costner, who is more than likely going to have bigger and better things to come his way throughout the year. So think of this as something of an appetizer.

5 / 10 = Rental!!

"But dad! You said that if you built it, they would come!?!??!"

“But dad! You said that if you built it, they would come!?!??!”

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

About these ads

29 responses to “3 Days to Kill (2014)

  1. jjames36 February 22, 2014 at 4:12 am

    And again. Mostly meh. Which, again, is about what I expected. ;-)

  2. thycriticman February 22, 2014 at 7:47 am

    The trailer gave it away that this one would be nothing special. You have Kevin Costner and Amber Heard, but by throwing them in a stupid, generic looking plot, success is not possible. Without them, I think this would have scored even less. Not pumped to watch this one! But I may….

  3. Tom February 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Gotta agree here man, it’s really flimsy in patches but Costner holds it together with a decent and amusing performance. And of course I went just for Amber Heard, so I think I came out liking it more for that reason alone! :)

    Good review

  4. lukebbtt February 22, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Who wants a bet that there will be a sequel called Four Days to Kill?

  5. dullwood68 February 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Hi Dan – Thanks for confirming that this is just another generic action movie. Still, like you I’ve remained a fan of KC through the “lean” years, and if he wants to do a pay check movie evert now and again that’s fine by me.

  6. Old Ain't Dead February 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for this review. I was wondering about whether to pay big bucks to see it. What I really wanted to know was whether the killer, who is surrounded by 3 women, takes all the screen time or if the women are just there as a mirror for him. You answered by question!

    • CMrok93 February 22, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Yeah, there’s three women here and they all show a side of him, but barely any of them are interesting. Except for his daughter, who can be a bit annoying at times.

  7. williamjepma February 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Good review, Dan, this sounds like a solid rental to me. Nothing about it really caught my eye, outside of Costner himself of corse, but I think it could be fun to watch on a late Friday night.

  8. charleswhitemanblogs February 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    And by rental you mean if I have nothing better to watch or had a few too many right?

  9. Three Rows Back February 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Shame. There’s no-one more pleased than I that Costner is back on our screens. Solid write-up Dan.

  10. reel411 February 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    yikes. and i like costner generally

  11. shazza91321 February 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I haven’t seen this movie yet but I totally agree with your paragraph 3, although, I think Costner is an ok actor, who decided to make a come back at the right time. I’m hey doesn’t he have to when he has that many kids to get through college? I will check this one out for sure, good review. Shazza

  12. Dale Smurthwaite February 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    With the exception of Dances With Wolves, Ive pretty much liked most of Costners stuff and I want to see this one. I’m also looking forward to draft Day aswell. Nice review Dan

  13. Whit's Movie Reviews February 23, 2014 at 4:37 am

    I wish I enjoyed this even a little, but to be honest, I really hated it. It focused too much on family drama and the action sequences sucked. Glad you got at least a fraction of enjoyment out of it though. Nice review man.

  14. Russel DDK February 24, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Your reviews are always very good and this one is no exception. But the pest part that I liked about this review are your points on Costner. The guy gets undue flak for a whole lot of invalid reasons, which sometimes border on the downright ludicrous. While he certainly isn’t one of favorite actors, I’ve always quite enjoyed his movies in general. Another fact is that he generally stars in good films and a few of his movies can even be termed as classics.

  15. Victor De Leon February 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Nice review, Dan! So, if they would have replaced Costner with Neeson would it have been a better flick, you think? I feel that Costner deserves a career resurgence like Liam but needs better material.

    McG just aint the guy to bring out the best in actors and Costner really can do wonders with good writing, IE: Thirteen Days, JFK, Mr Brooks.

    Hell, I even liked Waterworld. Holy shit. Did I just admit that?

  16. Writer Loves Movies February 25, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Great review and thanks for the heads up. Not sure I will put myself through this one – it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all!

  17. Lights Camera Reaction March 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I really like Hailee Steinfeld, but she’s picking some very uninspired career choices after True Grit. At least you said she gave a good performance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,576 other followers

%d bloggers like this: