Nerdlocker Movie Review: 3 Days to Kill


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Written by Luc Besson and directed by McG… not exactly a selling point for me. Luc Besson has some decent, I stress decent, films like Taken and The Family and he even has some absolute classics under his belt like The Fifth Element and Léon (also known as The Professional). But those last two I listed happened a long time ago and since then it has been mediocrity. And then there’s McG; the director of one of the worst films I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. I hate that sorry excuse for a movie so much. In fact, it’s the earliest I can recall truly hating a movie, thanks for that McG. I realize I started this review off quite negatively but in all honesty, 3 Days to Kill wasn’t terrible, surprisingly. Though not dreadful, it’s still just another run of the mill, middle of the road, better than I thought it would be actioner.

The best and worst aspects of this are both the script. On one hand it focuses on story as much as possible which was very nice to see. The weakness of the script is in the action scenes; it’s all rehashed material pulled from hundreds of other mediocre action films. My favorite parts were the moments he spent with his estranged family, trying to become the father he always wanted to be but never could thanks to his job as an assassin/spy. The comical moments when he is trying to extract information from a bad guy on how to handle his own teenage daughter, those were the amusing and worthwhile parts. The actions scenes… eh.


Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a lifer in the CIA who is on his way out whether he knows it yet or not. After a botched mission, he is notified by physicians that he has a terminal illness leaving him with mere months left to live. Upon hearing this news, he leaves the CIA to spend what little time he has left trying to get to know the daughter he was never around for. Despite some expected friction between them, a rapport begins to take form and her trust in him begins to grow. Even his relationship with his disaffected wife is beginning to mend. The wife, Christine (Connie Nielsen) agrees to give him a chance to be a part of their lives on the condition that he is finished with his old life in the CIA.


It is at this moment, naturally, that a pesky agent of the CIA comes snooping around trying to pull Ethan back in the game one last time. Vivi (Amber Heard), as she calls herself tells Ethan that in exchange for his services an experimental drug will be given to him that could extend his life for years to come. Reluctantly and suspiciously he accepts the mission to kill the terrorist known as “The Wolf”. Ethan is the only living agent to know what he looks like so it must be him that takes this elusive baddie out of commission, permanently. With an illness holding him back, killing this man will be the hardest thing he has ever done, aside from trying to understand his teenage daughter that is.

I think the main reason I actually enjoyed this at all is my expectations were so low. I mean loooooooow. It couldn’t be as bad as I thought it might be and shockingly, it was rather entertaining. It’s cheap action, a ludicrous script, choppy editing, unbelievable characters, and its originality levels are near non-existent. Yet I laughed when it was funny, I watched intently when the action was taking place and in the end, when the credits began to roll, I wasn’t upset about how I spent the last two hours. Considering how bad I was bracing for it to be, I can say confidently this is a decent enough action popcorn flick to simply kill a few hours with. Go in expecting an atrocity and you might be satisfyingly distracted.


Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
Run Time: 113 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Connie Nielsen, Hailee Steinfeld, Richard Sammel
Directed By: McG

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 3 Nerdskulls

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard