Maybe I should have seen it coming with the 50/50 poster. Maybe I should have seen it with the 50/50 writing credits. This movie has 50/50 written all over it and, no, I'm not talking about the 2011 film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen but 3 Days To Kill could have learned a thing or two from that film considering the dark subject matter and light- hearted jokes.
--Spoilers past this point--
Kevin Costner stars as an over-the-hill but still bad-to-the-bone CIA operative with a stuffy nose and light cough that lands him on his back nearly the entire film (wow, after a certain age Hollywood really kicks you when you're down). He is told by his doctor he is suffering from brain cancer which has now spread to his lungs and he only has 3 months to live. To pile it on even more, a CIA representative passes along the news that they no longer need his services. What else can a sick and retired Jack Bauer-esque type man do at such a low point in his life? Ah, yes! Reconnect with your ex-wife and estranged teenage daughter before you kick the bucket. When his ex leaves town for work for 3 days, Costner's character has time to spend, or kill, with his daughter hence the movie title's pun.
So far, so good, right? Well, it would have been had the film focused on picking its tone instead of Amber Heard's next crotch shot. (tangent alert) Yes, I am a red-blooded male and this film made even me roll my eyes at the over-the-top sultriness of Heard's character. She is supposed to be a covert CIA operative in Paris but stands out like a sore thumb...a thumb with Victoria Secret catwalk-ready hair, fire truck red lipstick, and tight, black leather (sometimes latex) dresses. We're never informed why she dresses this way, or why she talks and walks like Jessica Rabbit with a cigarette in hand, especially when the first scene of her in the movie has her looking like Clarice Starling's younger sister. Is she a double agent working with the bad guys? Does she have an incurable shopping addiction? Is she moonlighting at the Red Light District? Your guess is as good as mine. (tangent ended)
We're never quite sure how to feel about this film since the mood is all over the place. Is the film supposed to be a raucous comedy where the bumbling action hero dad goes through every tired cliché of bonding with his hormone-raging teenage daughter? Or is it an action thriller where the aging Rambo goes after the not-so-mysterious-after-all generic terrorists named The Albino and The Wolf? The writers never seem to mesh the two ideas/genres together cleanly and it shows. Did they work separately and then staple their two different scripts together? Something clearly got lost in the shuffle because we shouldn't be laughing during what are meant to be tense, action sequences nor should we be scratching our heads after a joke is uttered unless we know from the start what type of movie this is...which we don't and, clearly, neither do the filmmakers.
At least the main cast knew what time it was and brought their A game. Costner was in fine form as an American cowboy (the reference is thrown around numerous times throughout the film) but he is completely upstaged by the young Hailee Steinfeld who, given her age, is easily able to tap into an honest teenager's feelings of insecurity and resentment. Watching her grow as an actress will be an amazing thing to see in the next couple of years. Connie Nielsen was great but her character was lost in the background. What place can a character who is a mother over 40 have in a quasi action/comedy/thriller piece? Absolutely none so off the screen she goes and she doesn't come back until the climax. Typical.
Bottom line, you're either going to love this movie or hate it. The vague ending sort of leaves room (just a small ray of light) for a sequel so I guess if enough people love it the writers can get to work and start stapling up the next script.
3 Days to Kill
Action / Drama / Thriller
3 Days to Kill
Action / Drama / Thriller
Dying of brain cancer, 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: hunt down the world's most ruthless terrorist and look after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years while his wife is out of town.
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May 07, 2014 at 12:07 PM