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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I went last night to go see the new Kevin Costner action flick 3 Days to Kill. I usually like a lot of the Luc Besson productions. While none of the movies are ever truly great films, they are almost always entertaining. I’m talking about the Takens, Lockouts, and Transporters of the world. It looks like Costner wanted to get into some of that Taken action, because that exactly what this kind of film strives for (albeit with a somewhat lighter tone). Unfortunately, 3 Days to Kill largely falls flat and never comes together in the way it probably wants to.
The story, simply put, is one that has been told a million times before. Costner plays Ethan Renner, a retired CIA agent pulled back into the game for one last job. If he is successful, then he will be given an experimental cure for his terminal disease. At the same time, Renner attempts to reconnect with his estranged wife and daughter while trying to keep this last job a secret from there. Hijinks ensue.
The problem I had with the movie is that it really feels like two movies they are mash together, but don’t naturally intertwine with one another. There seems to be abrupt shifts in the movie between when Renner is going after the bad guys and then when he is trying to spend time with his daughter. Because these two plot lines don’t fluidly come together, the pacing of the film becomes incredibly slow. [Insert joke here about how 3 Days to Kill felt like 3 days]
Still, the performances were solid. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Kevin Costner fan, and it was great seeing him headline an action flick in quite some time. Hailee Steinfeld was also great as his onscreen daughter. I really bought into the relationship they developed throughout the film (even if there were parts that made absolutely no sense and contradict earlier actions).
Even though 3 Days to Kill didn’t work for me the way I was hoping it would, I still want to see more of these “dad fiction” films. They are lower key and never as bombastic as your typical summer blockbuster (with more practical stunts and effects for added bonus). And I like that sort of thing. It brings out quieter and more memorable performances out of its leading actors in addition to giving a film an indi-like feeling without it being an indi-film. I just wish 3 Days to Kill would have been a bit more coherent for me to fully enjoy.
As a complete aside, when I went to see this, the theater was fairly full, but what was super irritating was the group of kids (younger than ten and even a baby) loudly talking and running up and down the aisles. First of all, why are they at this kind of movie and second of all, why was the adult they were with not doing anything about it. I know that you always run the risk of annoying people in the theater and young children tend to get fidgety during movies. I get that. But I also have the expectation that this will more likely happen during a kids-targeted film such as The Lego Movie or Disney fare. Not during a shoot-‘em-up thriller! Parents/guardians: please watch your kids in the theater especially if you are going to walk in fifteen minutes late! And don’t bring a crying baby to the theater! Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if that soured my opinion of the movie a bit.