'3 Days to Kill' should die early
Published: Monday, February 24, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 20:02
I’m getting tired of these ridiculous Luc Besson-produced PG-13 action movies. There have been some bad ones, but “3 Days to Kill” might just be the worst to date. Kevin Costner stars, since Liam Neeson must have been too busy, or maybe decided he’s had enough of these movies. The plot is unnecessarily complicated and difficult to follow which is strange since it really falls back on just about every action film cliché rather than be anything significant. Costner is a CIA assassin dying of cancer. He tries to reconnect with his estranged wife and teenage daughter when he is told that his life could be saved by an experimental drug his CIA handler will give him if he tracks down and kills two international criminals that only he has seen, or something along those lines. The details were hard to follow, but to be fair I was only half invested.
The film is truly a painful experience. While many criticized “The Wolf of Wall Street” for being too long at three hours, I found myself unaware of time and enjoying my experience completely submerged into the film. At just under two hours, “3 Days to Kill” feels at least four hours long, dragging and forcing the audience along on a ride it is not interested in. The entire film is not only absurd, but poorly written, directed, constructed, filmed, acted and edited. Director McG does a terrible job with the film. You may remember him as the man who made that god awful “Terminator” reboot. For some reason he is still in show business and has made more garbage.
The only real thing I can say positive about this film is Costner’s performance. Throughout his career he has consistently tried to become an action star and failed every time. His performance here makes me feel like he could potentially become one, but it’s not right for this movie. Unlike Liam Neeson, who seems to embrace these sorts of roles by taking it way over the top, Costner seems to think this is an intense thriller requiring an intense performance. He must not have read the entire script. I can’t blame him for wanting to get in his share of Neeson-like action, but he could certainly have done better than this.
There really isn’t much action. What we do see is rushed, sloppily shot and poorly edited. Don’t forget, because this is PG-13, every time somebody is shot or beaten the camera shakes away too fast to see what is even happening. This film is an odd mix of action, melodrama and comedy. Yet, none of these things really work on any level on their own. They certainly do not work shoved together into the terrible package that is this film.
Like it or not, the golden age of action movies is long gone. The real reason for this is the PG-13 rating. There can be good PG-13 action movies and even great ones like “The Dark Knight.” Yet, we see more movies like “3 Days to Kill” where everything is written and produced around the rating which leads to terrible content and a cheap silly film like this. There’s a running gag throughout the film that really bothered me. Costner continuously kidnaps people and then suddenly needs fatherly advice. What does he do? He asks the kidnapped who tell him under duress and fear of torture. Some of the audience laughed, but is this funny? Have the producers really lost all touch with humanity that we are supposed to laugh at what essentially is a cheap and inhumane joke. Costner never hurts them, but imagine the feelings and fear running through their heads. This is essentially what “3 Days to Kill” is. A film that aims and never hits a single mark in any category.