Rated PG-13 for really gratuitous violence, some sensuality and language
Written by Adi Hasak and Luc Besson (who should both be ashamed of themselves)
Directed by McG (who after this and "This Means War" should clearly no longer be allowed to direct movies)
Starring Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfield, Connie Nielson, Amber Heard and more
Grade: Am I allowed to use negative stars?
There are many, many bad action movies out there. We all recognize the basic elements - ridiculous one liners that are delivered with an "I'm a serious actor" face, attractive women falling all over themselves for a hero who wouldn't even get a smile in real life, and fight scenes that look like they were choreographed by a particularly inept student filmmaker.
Compared to "3 Days to Kill," these movies are masterpieces of the form.
A mind-boggling train wreck of a movie that seriously brings into question the sanity of every major name who got involved in it, "Three Days to Kill" is what would happen if someone put a real action movie through Google Translate and then tried to film the result. Though it's oddly hilarious at moments – a few of them even seem to be intentional – the bulk of the movie is a disjointed mess of terrible decisions held together only by Kevin Costner's monotone acting.
The movie starts with the most ham-handed covert operation I've ever seen in a film – and that includes the comedies – that ends in a series of explosions. Costner's character lives, sadly, only to be told that he has brain cancer and oh wait, never mind, he won't. Because of this, he goes home to Paris and tries to reconnect with his ex-wife (who of course still loves him) and his daughter (who of course pretends to hate him until she admits that she really still loves him).
Kevin Costner, who I swear had some acting talent at one point, has clearly only been given two instructions – speak as if he's been a heavy smoker for years, and stumble around a lot during what seem to be a dozen absurdly gratuitous "drugged" scenes. Or perhaps he was given more instructions, and these are the only ones he was able to pull off. I don't think he was able to make a single genuine facial expression throughout the entire movie.
There are a few moments with his daughter and ex-wife that tug on the heartstrings, but Hailee Steinfield and Connie Nielson carry the entire emotional load of all of them. If Costner were replaced by a table, for example, I suspect the scenes would be just as enjoyable.
Marc Andréoni and Bruno Ricci, playing mid-level criminals Costner has to interact with, carry pretty much the entire comedic load for the movie. I pray that when this mess comes out on DVD, someone will make a compilation of only their scenes and upload it to YouTube for the general benefit of the movie-going public.
Amber Heard's character falls more into the accidental comedy category, a CIA agent who seems to be living some sort of strange dominatrix fantasy, has a fashion sense forged in the early 90s, and an unfortunate kink for actors who are way past their prime. At no point during the movie does her character make any sense whatsoever, unless she somehow wandered in from an old "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoon and is desperately looking for Boris.
As if all of this weren't enough, director McG compounds his many crimes by randomly ordering that the movie be shot as if it were French New Wave cinema, an extra touch of artificial seriousness that only made the nonsense happening on screen that much more ridiculous.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cleanse my palate by watching something with Steven Seagal in it.