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Film Review: 3 Days to a Kill (2014)

Updated: May 31

You have to feel sorry for Kevin Costner in his latest flick. Not only is the poor chap estranged from his wife and shunned by his daughter, but on top of this three generations of Mali asylum seekers are squatting in his admittedly commodious Paris apartment.


And just to add insult to injury he’s also got brain and lung cancer!


3 Days to Kill is a schizophrenic movie. On the one hand it’s a formulaic action thriller replete with wicked eastern Europeans threatening the er…French way of life (Can’t be all bad then).


On the other hand it’s a not so heart-wrenching story of a father’s quest to reconnect with his teenage daughter, who, surprise, surprise is seriously irascible and hostile to pa’s good intentions.


And of course she is also oblivious to the fact that dad is suffering from brain cancer. Stoic old Costner naturally refuses to disclose debilitating illness to this teen terror. That’s the kind of guy he is.


Costner is an ex-CIA agent. A very grizzled (what else?) ex-CIA agent, but in a very bold move by the producers, an ex-CIA agent without a drink problem! There can’t be many of them around.


Kev just wants to get on with his life. Well the last three months of his life. Although it has to be said for a man besieged by brain and lung cancer he does look remarkably chipper.


Enter CIA wonder woman Vivi Delay played by Amber Heard who offers Kev the chance of a wonder cure for cancer provided he accepts….you’ve guessed it…one last mission: To take out a couple of low life terrorists one of whom is known as The Albino’ or The al-bye-no to those of a US disposition.


It’s a tantalising offer. And true to her word the young lady carries around a syringe full of the magic elixir in her Audi TT, as you do. And so Kev finds himself – reluctantly, very reluctantly – back in the world of taking out evil commis. All he has to do is to find a Russian speaking albino with a limp. No easy task.


Meanwhile the squatters are becoming very cosy in Kev’s flat. He may be a cold-blooded assassin, but you’ve guessed it…he’s an assassin with a big old heart of gold. That’s the kind of guy he is.


Chasing terrorists around Paris proves to be a walk in the park though compared to getting close to ex-wife and daughter, both of whom are seemingly oblivious to the fact that Costner saves the world for a living. At one point daughter asks him why, unlike other ‘salesmen,’ he doesn’t wear a suit! Phew! Cover story nearly blown there Kev!


Miss Delay proves to be a particularly ruthless taskmaster, constantly urging Kev to ‘kill’ various men in suits. It seems Miss D doesn’t like men in suits.


When he hesitates, as he often does (He’s a good egg don’t forget), Miss Delay simply does the job herself. Talk about clinical. You have to wonder why she enlisted Costner in the first place!


And so our Kev gradually gets into his daughter’s affections and ex’s knickers. He also manages to foil the dastardly plans of the al-bye-no and pals, but only just.


The question is why? Why write it? Why produce it? Why finance it? Why? Why? Why? This movie has been done before, many times. Think On Golden Pond meets Die Hard and you’ll get just a flavour of the cliché and sentimentality here.


If you yourself have a few days to kill I’d seriously recommend you spend your time doing something more stimulating, like nuking greenfly…