3 Days to Kill

3 Days to Kill
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Director: McG
Cert: 12A
Genre: Action
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Amber Heard, Connie Nielsen
Running Time: 1 hr 57 mins

Ah, McG. Your films are as magnificent as your name is long. There is further worrying news in the credits to this tonally befuddled Franco-American thriller. With Luc Besson as producer and co-writer, we can be certain that no effort will be spared to strain the audience's credulity and stretch its tolerance for vulgarity.

An unlikely mix of Uncle Buck and The Bourne Stupidity, 3 Days to Kill stars Kevin Costner – wearing, it seems, exactly the same garments he wore in Field of Dreams – as a CIA assassin given just a few months to live. He returns home to Paris (just run with this, okay?) and attempts to build bridges with his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and mildly errant daughter (the ubiquitous Hailee Steinfeld).

But what’s this? A glamorous former colleague (Amber Heard) is here with an “experimental treatment” that may give Costner a few more weeks to live. There are downsides. He must emerge from retirement for one last job. Also, the drug induces hallucinations that can only be cured by a swift shot of vodka (please stay with us for another sentence or so).

Costner was surely hoping for the same boost that the Besson-produced Taken provided for Liam Neeson. Unfortunately, 3 Days is so wildly undisciplined – family humour one minute, mass slaughter the next – that no satisfactory rhythm is ever established. It's also too long, too ugly and too contrived.


Take it away, garçon. It’s off.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist