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2 reviews, 5 user ratings

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3 Days to Kill
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by Peter Sobczynski

"From Bond To Bonding"
4 stars

Luc Besson, that inexhaustible French filmmaking machine, adds to his IMDb count with the new international action extravaganza "3 Days to Kill," which he produced and co-wrote the screenplay based on his own story, and this time around, he seems to be beating the spoofers to the punch by offering up his own silly spin on his oeuvre, especially his surprise smash "Taken."

This time around, Kevin Costner plays a gravel-voiced CIA agent who, after being injured during a mission gone sour, learns that he has only a few months to live due to brain and lung cancer. He returns to Paris in the hopes of mending fences with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and teen daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) but no sooner has he assured his ex that he is out of the business for good, a sexpot agent (Amber Heard) recruits him to help her take down an international terrorist that only he can identify before something bad happens in exchange for $50,000 a kill, a million-dollar insurance policy and regular doses of an experimental cure for his cancer. Costner finds himself juggling the usual derring-do with the more complicated matter of getting to know his daughter again, though I wouldn't dream of telling you if his two worlds unexpectedly cross paths during the final reels.

Although uber-hack McG is the director of record, "3 Days to Kill" has Besson's creative fingerprints all over it--European locales, a super-slick visual style, grizzled tough guy heroes and glamorous babes who are often tougher even when they look as if they have just stepped off the catwalk of a fetish-heavy fashion show, villains presented without even a hint of subtlety, dark humor, straight-faced sentiment, wild action set-pieces that veer between cheerful cartoonishness and eye-popping brutality and storylines that hop from Good Part to Good Part with the breathless energy and genial incoherence of a bunch of kids playing with their toys. This time around, these elements are pumped up closer to the point of outright parody than ever before--even by his standards, the story this time around makes virtually no sense and Heard's character seems to have been trucked in from either another movie or an exceptionally adolescent wet dream.

And yet, this is an action film with an actual personality to it that, after enduring such by-the-numbers action bores as "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and "Non-Stop," comes as a blessed relief. The oddball touches--Costner extracting information from one unwilling and very hairy suspect with nothing more than a roll of duct tape and forcing another to provide his daughter with a pasta recipe over the phone so that she can make dinner for her boyfriend, the strange side effects of the miracle medicine--are crazily entertaining, the fight scenes and car chases are presented with more style than usual and the whole thing looks great throughout. The key asset this time around, the one that keeps it from spiraling out of control, is the performance by Kevin Costner, who deftly underplays his part in ways that mesh nicely with the craziness around him.

There will no doubt be better action films coming along this year but until they arrive, "3 Days to Kill" will fit the bill quite nicely.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=25828&reviewer=389
originally posted: 02/27/14 22:11:59
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User Comments

7/26/14 mr.mike Repeats some gags one too many times but otherwise a good bet. 4 stars
4/11/14 EDWARD BENITEZ average action film. Costner is good. 3 stars
2/25/14 Bob Dog Refreshing take on the tropes! 5 stars
2/22/14 Marilyn This movie was excellent. I am not a writer or reviewer, but I highly recommend this movie. 5 stars
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  21-Feb-2014 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-May-2014


  DVD: 20-May-2014

Directed by

Written by
  Adi Hasak
  Luc Besson

  Kevin Costner
  Amber Heard
  Hailee Steinfeld
  Connie Nielsen
  Richard Sammel
  Eriq Ebouaney

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