3 Days to Kill movie poster
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3 Days to Kill
3 Days to Kill movie poster

3 Days to Kill Movie Review

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It may take Kevin Costner 3 Days to Kill, but it took only 110 minutes for director McG to kill my hopes, dreams and aspirations. A wretchedly bad thriller muddled by sappy family drama, 3 Days to Kill is one of the worst movies of Costner's career, and will easily stand as one of the worst of 2014.

Costner plays a retired CIA agent who, dying of cancer, returns to Paris to rekindle his relationship with his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) only to find himself drawn into a plot where he has to kill some bad guys in exchange for an experimental drug that could cure him.

But let's face facts: 3 Days to Kill doesn't have much of a plot. Hell, it doesn't even make much sense.

There's Amber Heard, who plays a mysterious CIA handler who for some reason dresses up in sexy leather outfits and instructs Costner's character to do things with little explanation. You'd think that screenwriters Adi Hasak and Luc Besson would throw a twist or two in to make her character interesting, but no, she really is just there to look sexy (she succeeds).

There's the secret antidote that theoretically cures Costner's cancer, which has spread from his brain into his lungs. Not only is the entire concept cheesy as hell, but the drug's only real effect is to make it harder for Costner to kill his targets at the least opportune moments.

And there's that family of African squatters hanging out in Costner's apartment, who add absolutely no value to the story whatsoever.

But what's most confounding is that 3 Days to Kill, marketed as an action movie for obvious reasons, is less an action movie than an extremely poorly made family drama. Every time you think the movie is finally going to kick into gear, it regresses back into a sequence of sappy scenes between Costner and Steinfeld as they slowly bond with stupid dialogue and even dumber scenes. You can tell that some of it is meant to be tongue in cheek - one funny scene involves Costner forcing a torture victim, an Italian, to hop on the phone with his daughter to tell her how to make a great spaghetti sauce - but almost every scene falls flat.

The action, when there is action, is largely forgettable, though there are a few moments where Costner manages to be a badass. Still, McG appears to have mailed things in for the most part as 3 Days to Kill has a very generic look and feel about it.

3 Days to Kill is a horribly made, poorly written and at times laughably bad "thriller" that focuses on all the wrong things and ignore the pieces that matter - namely plot, character development and entertainment value. It takes Costner three days, but you'll be asking for a bullet long before then.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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