Kevin Costner had 3 Days to Kill, so McG did.
3 Days to Kill was not a bad movie, nor was it a good movie, it lies somewhere between the two. How far the judgment of good or bad will waver from person to person, and even based on mood. It is a movie that is tragically hobbled by its director, McG. Like a teenage boy behind the wheel of an expensive and powerful muscle car, he simply could not keep the film under control. It is at times convoluted and forced, yet other times the action moves naturally, effortlessly. The smooth parts were the influence of the original screenwriter Luc Besson. His characters are smooth, and his dialogue is lively, it flows freely, and his stories have a metered heartbeat. Any director worthy of the title could produce an enjoyable and watchable film with minimal effort from one of his scripts. Unfortunately, 3 Days to Kill is not really a Luc Besson film. It is his story, and his script, but not his alone. An inexperienced writer who I do not believe was up to the task modified the script. There are distinct separations in this film, sections distinctly Besson, and those that are simply not. Writer Adi Hasak could not reach the levels necessary to blend his words with Luc Besson’s. I do not have the necessary exposure to Hasak’s work to say, definitively, if he possess that skill, but based on this film, I believe he does not. While I can say definitively, McG lacks the skill and talent to handle a film and script this complex. He should be limited to direct to video musician documentaries, and music videos.
Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner), a dangerous international spy is determined to give up his high stakes life to finally build a closer relationship with his estranged wife, Christine (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zoe (Hailee Steinfeld), whom he’s previously kept at arm’s length to keep out of danger. But first, he must complete one last mission – even if it means juggling the two toughest assignments yet: hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist and looking after his teenage daughter for the first time in ten years, while his wife is out of town.
Kevin Costner, who I have previously admitted to enjoying in spite of his shortcomings as an actor, did remarkably well with the role in this film. While he fluctuated between a cool and effortless performance to wooden and uncomfortable frequently, the transitions are relatively consistent. It couldn’t have been easy for him, an award-winning director, to take the obvious unskilled direction he received. I wish he had staged a coup and ousted McG and taken the role of director himself. He is a fine actor that the cinema has missed, in spite of his never having left.
I wish I could recommend this film. There are parts that are good, very good, but the parts that are bad, are ridiculously bad. Watch this one at home, or catch a half price second run matinee. It is not worth your time, even if you have….3 Days to Kill
4.5 out of 10.