A well-rounded action movie with heart and a little humor. “3 Days to Kill” is an action movie about terminally ill CIA secret service agent Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) who is persuaded out of retirement for one last job in exchange for an experimental drug that could save his life. Shortly after receiving an acute terminal medical diagnosis, Ethan decides to retire from his dangerous career for one last shot at being a husband and father. Meanwhile, Ethan is tasked with watching his daughter while his wife goes to London for a few days. But when a mysterious female CIA operative offers Ethan a life-saving cure in exchange for capturing a notorious terrorist, he reluctantly accepts. Now, with his daughter’s safety in his hands for the first time in a decade and the powerful drug’s debilitating side effects taking hold, the hunt begins.
Has director McG gone soft? Is it possible that the director of the “Charlie Angels” reboot and “Terminator: Salvation” has a family-friendly side? Isn’t he the same director known for over-the-top action flicks? McG is a filmmaker in transition, mixing metaphors, genres and feelings in this action-thriller, espionage-comedy, family-drama jumble.
Two elements that often appear in action movies are sexual content and profanity. Surprisingly, this movie contains neither, so it is a great movie for the entire family. The cinematography was executed well and the writing was quite good. Very few action movie cliches in this film; and the plot, although a little unrealistic, follows a mostly logical and believable course of events. The action sequences are underlined by the father-daughter and husband-wife reconciliation relationships in the film, which gives it a heartwarming feel. Definitely enjoyed this film better than “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”
The film is helped by Costner’s self-deprecating, aw-shucks charm. From his Oscar wins for “Dances With Wolves” to his sweetheart turn in “The Bodyguard,” Costner understands his strengths and plays to all of them at times here. Kostner is a convincing older Bond type, and is a pleasure to watch in this role. Even though I do not typically look to action movies for excellent performances, he demonstrates that even action movie heros can deliver excellent commitment to character.