3 Days To Kill (2014)

Rating: **
Review Date: 1/20/19
Director: McG
Written By: Luc Besson
Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen

Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is an experienced CIA operative who is dying of brain cancer and forced into retirement. Given three months to live, he tries to reconnect with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), who he hasn't seen in five years. The situation is awkward at best. When another CIA agent named Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) offers Ethan an experimental life-saving drug in exchange for his services, he reluctantly agrees and has to juggle being both an assassin and a single father for a few days while his wife is out of town on a business trip. And that's when things get REALLY awkward.

The film is a serious misfire on nearly every level. Luc Besson's twisted sense of dark humor fails to entertain, and the family drama is tiresome and cringe-inducing. If you like torture scenes that are interrupted by discussions about raising teenage girls, then maybe this is right up your alley. Personally, I found it distasteful and off-putting. The action scenes are decent, but the rapid fire editing spoils the fun. The pacing also grinds to a halt in the second half, making you wonder if the film is ever going to end. Kevin Costner gives an appropriately subdued performance, and his silent anguish is palpable. Hailee Steinfeld is both charming and infuriating as an insolent teen, which she plays to perfection. Sadly, Amber Heard is completely wasted in the film as an overly sexualized dominatrix who suffers from egregious makeup and appallingly awful wigs. Seriously, were these the only wigs they could afford? They look like they came from a discount Halloween costume store. It's frustrating because Ms. Heard is actually quite pretty underneath all of that garbage, but she's never allowed to shine through. She also overacts her role to the point of absurdity and her forced sexuality comes across as a parody of a bad comic book villain. Her presentation contradicts her job and title, and while she's supposed to be a sexy seductress, I found her repulsive. The film is a disjointed mess that can't decide whether it's a comedy, a drama, or an action movie, and it's at its worst when it tries to combine all three.