3 Days to Kill manages to have some decent action sequences and a few laughs, but the film is a misfire for Kevin Costner and director McG.
Written by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak, the film sees Costner joined by a talented cast including Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Richard Sammel, and Eriq Ebouaney.
Opening with a great action sequence, the audience is introduced to veteran CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) on a mission to take down the Albino (Tómas Lemarquis) who works for the arms dealer known as the Wolf (Richard Sammel).
The Albino is in town to sell a dirty bomb to some terrorist and it is up to Renner and his team to stop them. Renner is also dealing with a bad cold (which turns out to be terminal brain cancer) and has to step away from the mission to call his daughter Zoey (Steinfeld) and wish her happy birthday. The mission goes from bad to worse with Albino on the run, and Ethan retired from the company due to his cancer.
Deciding to spend as much time as he has left with his daughter, Ethan returns to Paris and promises his ex-wife (Nielsen) he is done with the company. He even volunteers to take care of his estranged daughter while his ex-wife goes to London. His retirement is put on hold when the mysterious Vivi Delay (Heard) shows up to tell Ethan he has been reactivated to kill the Wolf. As an incentive, she offers Ethan an experimental drug that can help extend the time he has left to live. Her only requirement is Ethan kill a few people along the way.
The rest of the film sees Ethan trying to juggle his time with his daughter with the needs of the company. There is a side story with a family of squatters in Ethan’s apartment that adds some character to Ethan, but not much.
Although it feels like a bad Taken clone, 3 Days to Kill isn’t a horrible movie. McG knows how to craft big action sequence and gives the film a slick look that really pops on the Blu-ray format. Costner handles the role of Ethan with the kind of grizzle the veteran actor has brought to the screen before, but brings some good laughs thanks to his interactions with the very talented Steinfeld. He is constantly interrupted by phone calls from Zoey, and even forced to get parenting advice from the bad guys he is torturing.
3 Days to Kill is also weighed down by a plot that drags with the pace often grinding to a complete halt so the audience can see Amber Heard (who is truly beautiful in the film even if her character is a complete waste of time) at a strip club or Ethan interact with the strange people living in his apartment.
On Blu-ray, the film is available in the theatrical cut and an extended version (which adds about 5 more minutes) and comes with several “making of” features which look at how they brought the action sequences to the screen and McG’s filming style.
While 3 Days to Kill has a few great moments (mostly thanks to Costner and Steinfeld), the movie fails to capitalize on its talented cast. It is weighed down by a familiar plot and a pace that loses your interest after the first action sequence and bad joke.