Tuesday, February 25, 2014

3 Days to Kill

From the trailer, I was hoping for a smart action/comedy spy movie. What I got was melodrama and boredom. All of the good parts of this movie are in the trailer.

Kevin Costner plays Ethan Renner, a CIA operative who retires when he finds out he is dying, but is pulled in for one last job by the promise of a miracle cure. I'm rather fond of Costner, and his performance is one of the better parts of the movie.

Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen play his daughter and her mother, respectively. They aren't bad, but are let down by an unoriginal script. This is a real shame, since Steinfeld is a fine actress, as her performance in True Grit shows. Here she is given the part of rebellious-teenager-with-abandonment-issues. She does what she can with the part, but it just isn't a very good part.

Amber Heard rounds out the major cast as Vivi Delay, the agent running Costner's Ethan. This is a ridiculous, stupid character. She is constantly sexualized, almost always with no point except to titillate the audience. Her plot, which is half the plot of the movie, is full of holes. Much of it is delivered while she is driving at improbable speeds through the streets of Paris, as if a fast car and pretty girl will make up for the lack of intelligent action. They do not. I expected better of a film written by Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, the Transporter series).

Tómas Lemarquis is the better of the two villains, and actually brings some menace on occasion. But really, the villains are The Albino and The Wolf? That's embarrassing.

The trailer for 3 Days to Kill promised two things: a tense race-against-death spy action movie and a comedic or farcical family angle.
As an action movie, this is a failure. There are very few action scenes, with lots and lots of talking in between. The sequences themselves aren't bad, but there is nothing original in them. The tension never materializes. Instead of the action-packed three days promised by the title, the plot drags on.
As a comedy, this is also a failure. All the funny parts are in the trailer. The rest of the family plotline is trite and shallow.

The best part of this movie may be the family of African squatters, who at least bring something entertainingly different to an otherwise tiredly unoriginal movie. The worst is the insultingly misogynistic character Vivi.

Performance: 3/5
Plot: 1.5/5
Production: 3/5
Overall: 1.5/5
Bechdel: Fail
Reverse-Bechdel: Pass
Mako Mori: Fail
What are these?

1. Lone Survivor
2. The Lego Movie
3. Lust For Love
4. Pompeii
5. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
6. I, Frankenstein
7. Monuments Men
8. Knights of Badassdom
9. RoboCop
10. Winter's Tale
11. The Legend of Hercules
12. 3 Days to Kill

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