SYNOPSIS: A dangerous international spy is determined to give up his high stakes life to finally build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and daughter, whom he’s previously kept at arm’s length to keep out of danger. But first, he must complete one last mission – even if it means juggling the two toughest assignments yet: hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist and looking after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years, while his wife is out of town.  


You have to blame Luc Besson and Liam Neeson for starting the old-men-turned-nasty genre. Besson has always been a prolific, inconsistent filmmaker and 3 Days to Kill happens to be one of his many forgettable action flicks yet again.  

Co-written with Adi Hasal (From Paris With Love) and directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels), Kevin Costner played a dying CIA agent, Ethan who is determined to reconcile with his wife and teenage daughter, Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit) before he dies. In exchange for an experimental drug that might prolong his life, he is drawn back into the game of espionage by a top female CIA agent, Vivi (Amber Heard).

The biggest glaring problem with 3 Days to Kill is the messy tone of it. It wants to be an action movie and it also wants to be a movie with heart at the same time. Unfortunately under the hands of McG and Besson who likes to frequently regurgitate his scribing material, it’s hard to appreciate this disjointed effort.

The movie spent so much time on father-daughter bonding and the espionage factor becomes more of an afterthought. After a sensational opening establishing Ethan as a tough veteran agent on a mission to capture The Albino, the right hand man of an arms trafficker. The flick slows to a crawl as Ethan busy himself with issues such as his vacated house being taken over by squatters, torturing people for information and dealing with teenage angst.

Characterizations are even worse with a mysterious Nikita-like femme agent, Vivi walking in and out of Ethan’s life like a ghost occasionally promising a cure and pushing him to find out the whereabouts of the baddies. The motives and screentime of the bad guys are practically forgotten and show up now and then only to get shot by Ethan and vice versa.

At least, Costner is good as the suffering middle-age agent who regrets his absence from his daughter’s life. He could easily give Neeson a run for his money given the right material; a pity Besson never blessed him with a better script and lines. Whatever happened to "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money but what I do have are a very particular set of skills"?




Visually the movie looks sharp and detailed. The soundtrack comes with only a Dolby Digital 2.0 track and in the movie’s few action moments delivered a loud listening experience. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Action/Thriller
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Richard Sammel, Eriq Ebouaney, Tomas Lemarquis, Big John
Director: McG
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language & Violence)
Year Made: 2014




Languages: English
Subtitles: English/ Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 52 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: InnoForm Media