3 DAYS TO KILL
Despite not being a very good actor in my opinion Kevin Costner became an extremely successful actor in the late 80’s. After co-starring in several films he received his first starring role in 1987’s THE UNTOUCHABLES and a few months later starred in BULL DURHAM. Both films were box success and in 1989 he struck box office gold again with FIELD OF DREAMS. As with most film stars it is hard to continue to be successful with every film and this proved true for him with the dismal film REVENGE, also released in 1989. He would redeem himself with his next film DANCES WITH WOLVES, which would win multiple Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for Costner. After that film Costner would steadily work but his films were not as successful as his previous work. However, he has not had a starring role since 2009 although he has appeared recently in MAN OF STEEL and JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT in supporting roles. Now Costner is back in a starring role in 3 DAYS TO KILL which might be his worst film since REVENGE.
Costner stars as CIA agent Ethan Renner who at the start of the film is on the trail of The Albino and The Wolf with members of his team. While he is on surveillance he takes the time to call his daughter for her birthday. Why he could not do it before or after the operation is over is a question that remains. Despite suffering from what he thinks is a cold he is quite effective at his job but of course the plan does not go as planned and members of his team are killed. In a very good action sequence The Albino sets off an explosion that allows him to escape but the ailing Renner is in pursuit. Renner is able to shoot The Albino in the leg before he passes out due to his illness. Turns out that Renner does not have a cold but has brain cancer that has spread to his lungs and he is given 3 to 5 months to live. In an effort to put his affairs in order he decides to try to repair his relationship with his estranged wife and daughter. Oh and his also recruited for “one last job” by the mysterious Vivi to help capture, who else, The Albino and The Wolf. In exchange for his services he is offered and experimental drug that could extend his life.
The film is part spy thriller; part domestic drama and it does not do either well. After a very good opening sequence the film all but abandons that plot and its inclusion later seems like an afterthought. The film is more concerned about Renner’s relationship with his daughter which would be fine if it were handled in a manner that is not full of clichés. McG, the director of this mess, shows that he is inept at bring out the drama in the material. There are moments in this film that made me laugh at loud, which I’m sure was not the intent. Example. In an effort to win her over he makes an effort to purchase her a gift for her birthday. The gift. A purple bike. Why purple? Because that was her favorite color as a child. Why a bike? Who knows. His daughter is at least 16 so wouldn’t a car be more appropriate. A running gag in the film is Renner unsuccesful attempts to give her the bike her refusing but the jokes fall flat. The revelation as to why she does not want the bike is that she does not know how to ride a bike. This is met with cheesy sad music on the soundtrack and a montage of Renner teacher her to ride the bike.
This film is flat out awful and even Costner cannot save the material. Much like Bruce Willis in A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, Costner seems to be aware that he is in a bad film and seems to be going thru the motions to earn his paycheck. Costner owes his fans more than that. This film is so bad that even the title does not work. One would think that the title would be in reference to the amount of days he has to live and complete his assignment. Nope, it is said by his daughter to Renner when she learns he will be staying with her for three days while her mom is out of town. It is early in the year but as of now I have a contender for one of the worst films of the year.
As of 2/21/14 Kevin Costner films that are streaming on Netflix are:
DANCES WITH WOLVES