Movie Review: 3 Days to Kill (2014)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard and Hailee Steinfeld

Directed by: McG

A CIA veteran find out he has just months to live tries to reconnect with his estranged wife and daughter. He is given another chance at life and career as he is offered an experimental drug that may cure him in return for tracking down and killing one of the worlds most elusive criminals.

When 3 Days to Kill was first released back in 2014 I saw the trailer and had very little to no interest in watching it at all as it looked poor and looked like a very generic action flick. Upon given it a chance I was at least 50% correct with my initial assumptions. While the movie wasn’t poor it was painfully generic at times but I was at least provided with the best part of two hours worth of solid entertainment.

Kevin Costner was the lead in a movie that boasted a fairly decent cast which included Hailee Steinfeld, Amber Heard and Connie Nielsen. Costner plays CIA veteran Ethan who has put in 32 years of service. After he collapses while trying to capture elusive criminals The Albino and The Wolf he gets given the news that he’s suffering from brain cancer and has 5 months at most to live. Ethan travels back to Paris to try and reconnect with his wife and daughter after missing large portions of their lives due to the commitment he had to his job. Shortly after making a little progress with his family he gets given one final mission, to track down and kill both The Albino and The Wolf and in return he will receive an experimental drug that may cure his cancer. Ethan must now juggle two of his hardest jobs; tracking down some of the most dangerous criminals in the world and reconnecting with his resentful teenage daughter.

The performance of Kevin Costner was fairly decent as he plays an aged badass pretty well as it’s a role that he has become familiar with during the course of his career. He was only over shadowed by Hailee Steinfeld, who played his daughter Zooey. She is a very impressive young actress who has had such a great career already at such a young age and her performance as a resenting rebellious teenager was wonderful. The chemistry which both Costner and Steinfeld shared was good and it really helped in allowing this part of the story to flow and feel very organic. The action sequences were very well filmed as was the car chase scene towards the end of the movie.

A few of the main problematic areas from 3 Days to Kill stemmed from its generic plot. Nothing about this movie felt original as each aspect of the story felt as though I had seen it before many times within the action genre. Also, due to its simplistic nature the story was quite predictable once all of the main characters were introduced and although I was still being entertained throughout I was hoping for a surprise or two along the way which never seemed to materialise. Additionally I didn’t quite see the point of Amber Heard’s character and the constant image changes she underwent, while she was key to the plot to a certain degree as she held Ethan’s potential cure in her hands, outside of this she added nothing else and I didn’t see why she was utilised as frequently as she was.

Overall, this movie was pretty entertaining and had some decent performances from Costner and Steinfeld in particular but the story was very generic and there were no real shocks or surprises offered.


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