3 Days To Kill slaughtered my one brain for two whole generic hours. Did anyone order a McG sandwich? No? No one? Can we then remove this uninspired item from the menu? It genuinely baffles me how a man brimming with unfavourable mediocrity still manages to helm features. His track record is less than stellar. It can’t even be classed as good. And now he finds himself in Besson’s EuropaCorp to exercise his amateurism by leading yet another forgettable action thriller exported from the production company that is unsurprisingly lacking in both areas. They pump out the same structure in every film. ‘Taken’, ‘The Transporter’, ‘From Paris With Love’...the list is endless. A middle-aged white American male wreaks havoc in France in an attempt to stop a one-dimensional villain from succeeding in whatever their goal is. Terrorism I guess? Except this time the protagonist only has a finite amount of time left to live, so is tasked wit killing “The Wolf” in exchange for experimental drugs that prolong his life. But, there’s a catch. If his heart rate exceeds a specific BPM, he’ll experience hallucinogenic effects.
So, essentially, the inverse to Statham’s ‘Crank’, a successful action flick that Besson clearly took inspiration from when writing this screenplay. What started off as a promising gritty story on urban terrorism and arms dealing, quickly descended into a cheese-fest of comic proportions. Ethan, played by Costner on auto-pilot mode, must balance his new “job” with caring for his estranged daughter. Fatherhood seemed to have swept passed Ethan, as he had absolutely no clue when handling any situation the pubescent teen throws at his face. For example, her hair somehow went frantically wild when preparing for her night out. His answer? “Splash some water on it”.
The obvious awkwardness between the two was supposed to act as comic relief in between the action sequences, yet there was minimal action. A two minute car chase between a Peugeot 306 and an Audi A-something (it’s a fast car, I don’t care) does not substantiate thirty minutes worth of uncharismatic dialogue. Ethan obtains parental advice from a guy he kidnaps. Not once. Not twice. Multiple times. Besson’s repetitive structure for comedy was exhausting, especially considering the two hour runtime. Heard was all looks and no substance. Nielsen provided some decent chemistry with Costner, but that’s about it. Steinfeld was forgettable. And why the hell was this set in France? Again? There was no real purpose for the location, other than Besson adoring his country. EuropaCorp really need to explore the world.
3 Days To Kill exploits the worst tendencies of its producers. Unfocused, tedious and instantly forgettable. A weird unbalanced combination of comedy and action elevate an already generic flick into the realms of mediocrity. If only I had three days to kill this snooze-fest...