Overview: A man attempts to give up his life as a CIA agent to reconcile with his estranged wife and daughter. 2014; Relativity Media; rated PG-13; 117 minutes.
The Family Man: Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) just wants to spend his last few months with his family. Is that too much for a guy to ask? 3 Days to Kill follows him through two hours of a continuous attempt to achieve the ultimate work life and home life balance we all yearn to achieve. This guy’s job is just a bit more stressful than cubicle life. Although the plot of this film might come off as a “bit been there, done that,” it’s not your average father/daughter heroic action movie. He’s not your every day average good guy just trying to be the hero (I’m looking at you John McClane), and he’s not a man on a mission to save his child from the evils of the world (ahem, Bryan Mills). Although this familial reconciliation storyline is a bit forced at times, witnessing Costner fumble through his attempt at fatherhood while he completes his final CIA mission makes for some intentionally awkward and comical moments. When he interrogates a hostage for fatherly advice at gunpoint, you can’t help but shake your head and laugh at the same time.
The Fun: Only Kevin Costner could pull off riding around a purple bicycle one minute, and zipping through a car chase the next. He wades seamlessly through the back and forth between high action and preposterous comedy without missing a beat. Speaking of action, the adrenaline inducing sequences in this movie are exciting and well executed. Costner manages to always hit his target, even when he’s interrupted with his cell phone blasting his daughter’s signature ringtone, “That’s Not My Name” (which will now be stuck in your head for hours). Amber Heard isn’t given much to work with as far as characterization goes, but she fills her role as Vivi, the designated eye candy pulling the strings and dancing the fine line between seductress and professional killer.
Final Thoughts: 3 Days To Kill isn’t going to be winning any awards. Is it a groundbreaking action flick? No. Is it predictable? Yes. When Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld) calls her dad for some spaghetti sauce cooking advice, of course he’s going to ask the Italian guy he just happens to have handcuffed in his bathroom. The premise of this movie is ludicrous, but it’s ridiculously entertaining and fun as hell. He knows we’re not taking him too seriously, and he’s enjoying every minute of it.