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Movie review: '3 Days to Kill' blends 3 elements badly

Published February 21, 2014 2:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kevin Costner's comeback vehicle "3 Days to Kill" tries to be blend three elements, which is at least one too many.

It's an action/thriller, with Costner starring as Ethan Renner, a CIA assassin who maims, tortures and kills people. A whole lot of people. It's a family drama, with Ethan trying to repair his relationship with his estranged teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and wife (Connie Nielsen). And Ethan ends up forging some sort of familial relationship with the family squatting in his Paris apartment.

That's too much to ask from ham-fisted director McG, but it gets worse. Ethan has been diagnosed with cancer and has only months to live, and the miracle drug he's taking gives him hallucinations at the most inopportune moments — such as when he's about to kill international terrorists.

There are plenty of other things wrong with "3 Days," such as the cartoonish villains (laughably named The Albino and The Wolf) and the even more cartoonish CIA agent, Vivi (Amber Heard), who seems to have wandered in from a different movie. That Ethan would beat up the guys who try to rape his daughter and then let her run off strains credulity.

Even minor things like Costner fitting into suits he gets from a character played by a younger, much more, um, athletic actor take this film from bad drama to bad comedy.

In "3 Days to Kill," almost all the intentional comedy falls flat, and almost all the laughs come unintentionally in what are supposed to be dramatic moments. Hhj

'3 Days to Kill'

Opens Friday at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for violence, some nudity, smoking and drinking; 113 minutes.