“I guess we have three days to kill.”
That’s more like it. Not only was this much better than I expected, but I actually enjoyed the film, something I can’t say for Luc Besson’s recently produced films (The Family, Taken 2, Columbiana). The film might not be high-quality when it comes to the script or performances, but it’s surprisingly character-driven and emotion, making it one of the few 2014 releases so far that I’d gladly recommend.
Kevin Costner, to me, is one of the more likeable actors working today. Apparently, he’s also one of the nicest you could work with today in Hollywood and it shows here. He’s smart, cunning, and dangerous. Part of me thinks he’d be better fit for the role in Taken than Liam Neeson was, and that’s saying something.
Besides Costner, the rest of the acting is somewhat mediocre, but that’s what I expected. Hailee Steinfeld, who hasn’t broken out since True Grit back in 2010, is serviceable here, but she wasn’t given much to do. However, this is one case where I’m actually glad she wasn’t that prominent because it didn’t lead to one of the biggest clichés this type of film always has: the agent’s daughter is in trouble and needs help. That situation never happens here, and I for one loved that, even if it seems like something minor.
I also enjoyed the subplot involving the French family who have practically broken into Costner’s apartment and live there. While at first it felt forced, the family leads to some of the films funnier moments, which is something that I felt balanced out the somewhat dark storyline pretty well.
However, that isn’t to say I enjoyed all aspects of the film. One thing that bothered me at first was the color palette. It seemed to getter better as it progressed, but the opening scene was very murky and had an ugly grey tint to it, making it look cheap. Another thing is that most of the action is very predictable and surprisingly dull. There is a fight that randomly occurs halfway though the film that is brutal and most of the action is shot very well, the problem is that the set-pieces weren’t very exciting.
Lastly, I was bugged by Amber Heard’s character. When we first meet her, she’s a CIA director and very professional-looking. But, the moment she gets involved with Costner’s character, she turns into this slutty, Bond-type villain who you can’t tell is good or bad. We never get any hints or reasoning behind her character (and her multiple wigs), leaving the film with a confusing character and a plot hole. At least Amber Heard is hot.
3 Days to Kill is easily one of the better films Luc Besson has been involved with. The action might not be very impressive, but the character-driven plot and the humor are what make this thriller shine. One of the years better films so far.
3.5 out of 5