Friday, February 21, 2014

3 Days to Kill review

Pauline Kael once said "Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them." 
She has a point. Unfortunately, 3 Days to Kill isn't great trash. It's just plain old trashy trash. What a shame. 3 Days to Kill is about an aging CIA hit-man named Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) who gets cancer and is given three to five months to live. Luckily for him, if he's able to complete some assignments for the CIA, he'll be given some experimental cancer drug that may help him stay alive to see his estranged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and his wife (Connie Neilson). Before I get into the meat and potatoes of my review, let me get something straight. I am not a pompous, uppity, and overtly critical movie watcher. I always try to look for the good in films. I can enjoy a crappy movie. I'm even sort of a fan of dumb action flicks. Sure, they don't have much cinematic sustenance, but they can be a load of fun. I can enjoy stuff like Escape Plan and White House Down. Which is why I was somewhat looking forward to 3 Days to Kill. It was starring Kevin Costner. Costner's last action outing, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, was more than halfway decent. I was sure this would be the same brand of espionage-y fun. I was wrong. 3 Days to Kill was as much fun as death and taxes. It got off to a decent start with a classic spy vs. spy set up. Then it quickly became half cliche and very predictable spy movie and half boring melodrama. I tried really hard to like this movie, but it couldn't be done. Kevin Costner has the capacity to be the kind of action star Liam Neeson has become. Unfortunately, he seems content to "act" in garbage like this. I'm putting act in parentheses because all Costner did was walk around the movie with one expression on his face. It seemed as if Costner was just acting in this so he could get a paycheck and get out of there. I don't blame him. The movie has a lot more problems than just Costner's performance. This movie is directed by some guy named McG. The only other McG directed movie I've seen was Terminator Salvation. I should have known right then and there that this was going to be bad. I don't know who taught this guy how to direct action sequences, but they did an awful job. Whenever some "exciting" action is happening, it feels as if they handed the camera to someone having a seizure and told them to film the scene. The supposed awesome action sequences were irritating to look at and amatuerly filmed. I guess we should count ourselves lucky there isn't much action in this action movie. Most of the film revolves around Costner's character bonding with his daughter and dealing with family melodrama. The script is weak so the family melodrama isn't even interesting in the slightest. Teenager problems and daddy issues rarely make good movies. Especially if a certain movie is marketed as a cool action flick and is actually a mind numbing and syrupy family movie. I didn't go see 3 Days to Kill to watch Kevin Costner teach his teenage daughter how to ride a bike! I don't care who she goes to the prom with! I came for an action movie not a mediocre family togetherness piece of crap! The thing is, it really has nothing going for it. It's very poorly written. The plot is fairly cliche. (So-and-so foreign villain has a bomb and he's bad and you need to take him down like in every other action movie. Except a lot more boring!)he acting is sub par. The action sequences are frenetic and annoying. There are also several half-hearted attempts at jokes here. The jokes aren't funny. At all. The whole movie seems like someone had half a good idea and then gave up there. I wanted to like this, but after a while I could barely stand it. I'm sorry, but this was just bad. Maybe if it had been directed by John McTiernan or J.J. Abrams and written by someone halfway talented it could've been great. But instead it is the opposite of that. Trash. I give 3 Days to Kill 2 out of 5 stars. Take my advice; if you want to see a good action movie, rent Die Hard or the original RoboCop or something like that. Don't waste your money on this. Happy Viewing. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at             


  1. Good review Whit. It's honestly nothing special whatsoever, but Costner makes it worth watching, if only because he seems to know what he's working with here and doesn't try too hard. But somehow, that actually works for his character and, as a result, this movie.

    1. Thanks man. I felt it really had nothing to offer so I really didn't like it,