FlixChatter Review: 3 Days to Kill


A dying Secret Service Agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.

Ok, the fact that McG directed this from Luc Besson’s script doesn’t exactly spell ‘must see’ on my list. Heck, the last film by those two I saw were This Means War (even w/ Tom Hardy in it, it’s only worth seeing when killing time on a plane!) and the abysmal The Family respectively. But I gave this a shot because I’m a big fan of Kevin Costner and it’s nice to see him in a leading role again.

So the film begins with a shoot-out at a hotel between a CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) and the agency’s biggest fish, a nasty terrorist in possession of nuclear bombs. The operation was a bust partly because Renner passed out as he’s apparently been suffering from brain cancer. So he’s given only a few months to live and he decides to spend it with his estranged wife and teenage daughter in where else, Paris. That’s classic Besson as he has such a penchant for setting his films in his hometown the City of Lights.

What surprised me here is that this flick is not just all action and car chases, though of course you can expect a lot of that from McG and Besson. There’s equal drama here in the form of a father-daughter relationship. I don’t mind that part even if it all looks familiar and somewhat schmaltzy at times. Hailee Steinfeld is quite good as his bratty teen Zooey who’s slowly warming up to her dad, she makes her character more interesting than otherwise would under a less capable young actress. Connie Nielsen doesn’t get much to do as Costner’s estranged wife but it’s been a while since I saw her in anything so it’s nice to see she’s still working.


The resemblance to Taken is uncanny given the action paired with father/daughter drama. But the fact that there are more preposterous action scenes in the Liam Neeson vehicle, Taken was decidedly more entertaining. It may seem that Neeson is giving advice to Costner to be another aging seasoned action star, but to be fair, Costner was already doing action flicks early in his career, even played a spy in No Way Out and most recently a CIA mentor in the latest Jack Ryan movie. I must say he’s still got it, and still looks good doing it, too.

I think the weakest link in this movie is Amber Heard. Her character is so darn cheesy, the clichéd femme fatale of a blond seductress with stiletto heels & red lips, complete with corny lines like “I’m everybody’s type” as she shamelessly flirts with Ethan. There’s an apparent disdain that Ethan is showing towards Vivi which is nice to see as I share his dread. All the scenes with Vivi is so lame and cringe-worthy. I was never fond of Heard since I saw her in The Joneses, and she proves to be a one-note actress here.


Mixing genres is always tricky and I don’t think the filmmaker/writer involved are skilled enough to make it work here. It ends up working more of an action comedy with some drama thrown in. The espionage stuff is used more in a gimmicky manner that I can’t even call it a spy thriller. There’s also a subplot involving an African immigrant family staying in his Paris flat that feels awkward here. I think it’s meant to show Ethan’s softer side but it’s rather overkill as we’ve already got that from his relationship with his daughter. Plus that whole baby delivery is so unrealistic that it was utterly risible. There are some genuine laughs to be had though, especially the scenes involving Marc Andréoni as the bad guy’s limo driver. There’s also a droll running gag with Ethan’s phone, set to Icona Pop’s perky tune I Love It (I Don’t Care) by Zooey, that keeps going off at the most inopportune time.

All things considered, I find this movie fairly entertaining as I didn’t take it too seriously. Much like True Lies where there are more plot holes than bullet holes in the cars the hero’s shooting at. The Paris scenery are nice to look at and there’s the obligatory car chases and shoot-outs that should please action fans. I definitely think Costner still makes this one worthwhile in my book. He’s watchable even in the the repetitive scenes of him being disoriented from the cancer drug. At 59, he’s still got his movie-star charisma and presence to pull off an action hero role. I’m certainly glad this turns out to be better than McG and Besson’s previous films I mentioned above. So if you’re a fan of this genre and Costner, I’d say this is well-worth a matinee viewing or a rental.


Have you seen 3 Days to Kill? Well, I’d love to hear what you think!

Five for the Fifth: 5 Random Questions for the 5th Day of the New Year

Happy midweek, folks. After all the labor-intensive posts I’ve been churning out, I thought I’d have a completely random post for today. And to change things up, I’ll just share five random things and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic (you can do all five or just pick a topic). I’ve never done this before on this blog, so just go along with it, would ya? Yes? Well all right then, here we go.

  • I saw Taken over the weekend. It wasn’t planned or anything, it was Saturday evening and we were checking what’s available Amazon Video on Demand. The only thing I’ve heard about Taken was that it’s Liam Neeson going the bad-ass action hero route, so more Qui-Gon Jin and less Oskar Schindler. Well guess what, I enjoyed it. A lot. Sure the beginning is kinda slow and Maggie Grace was freakishly annoying as his kidnapped daughter, but I totally bought Neeson as Bond + Bourne on steroids. Funny how the poster features his quote from the movie. Cheesy though it may be, I thought it was pretty cool when he said it. By the end of it I immediately went, ‘All right! When is Taken 2 coming out?’ 😀

    Well, though I agree with ScarletSp1der’s comment that Neeson is in way too many movies, he’s a darn good actor. If I were to list five favorite Liam Neeson films, I’d go with: Schindler’s List, Shining Through, Batman Begins, Love Actually and A-Team. Now, how about you?
  • Four films I saw in December and January featured the trailer for Adjustment Bureau. Surprisingly, I was ok with it even though the trailer is really nothing special. Then suddenly it dawned on me, maybe I’ve come to really like Matt Damon?

    If you’re wondering why I’m baffled, well it’s because for the longest time, I really was indifferent towards him. A lot of women seem to love him, guys dig him and the media thinks he’s all that, even to the point of crowning him Sexiest Man Alive. All the while I went, huh?? But then I saw the Bourne movies and started to see what the fuss is about this dude. I’ve since seen him in a lot of movies, including The Good Shepherd, The Informant!, Invictus, and most recently, True Grit, and have come to really respect him as an actor.

    So my question to you is: which actors you’re previously indifferent with who slowly grows on you, perhaps even ends up becoming your favorite?
  • Thanks to gbGALS Twitter feeds, I found these two deleted scenes from one of Gerry Butler’s earlier films called One More Kiss. This is a tiny romantic indie set in Scotland that centers on Sarah, a cancer-stricken career woman who decides to live her remaining short life with the only man she’s ever loved, only to find out that he’s now married. Butler plays Sam, Sarah’s childhood sweetheart who’s torn between his love for her and his commitment to his wife, Charlotte.

    I think the film is quite good, though it could’ve showed more scenes of Sam with his wife to balance things out. Well, these two scenes show Sam and his wife in their happier times. It’s funny to hear how thick his Scottish accent was back then. Anyway, I wish they had kept these scenes in the film!

    P.S. The director of this movie is Vadim Jean, the same one who will hopefully reunite with Butler again for the Robert Burns biopic.

    Well, what deleted scene(s) have you seen in a given film that you think should not have been left out?
  • While we’re still on the subject of Butler, check out this behind-the-scene video of his L’Oreal commercial. Y’know, I love the guy but I’d never thought of him as skincare spokesperson material, ahah. Anyway, they’re making it very Bond-like, which is quite fitting given all the Bond rumors surrounding the Scot. Of course he’s never formally offered the role, but a lot of women would agree with me that he’d make a fiiiine super spy 😀 Btw, Dezzy @ Hollywood Spy just have his poll results in on the very topic, Butler lost out to English actor Richard Armitage, who I also think would make an excellent 007. Personally, I’d rather see him continue playing a variety of roles than be stuck playing one iconic role.

    No, I’m not going to ask you who should be the next Bond (though if you think of one, feel free to share). What I’d like to know is, what’s the most memorable commercial you’ve seen featuring a Hollywood actor/actress?
  • Well, yesterday was Julia Ormond’s 45th birthday. The funny thing was, at a meeting yesterday afternoon, I was actually thinking about the rom-com Sabrina, the 1995 remake of the Audrey Hepburn version directed by the late Sydney Pollack. It’s not very well-received by critics but I actually love it.

    I’ve seen it countless times and I adore Ormond in the title role. Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear are also wonderful as the brothers who’re in love with Sabrina. The tone is pretty light and there are lots of comical moments peppered throughout, especially when David (played with glee by Kinnear) falls hard for her and fails to recognize her despite having lived in the same house for years! The soundtrack is one of my all time favorites, the music really complements the movie well and it’s unabashedly romantic. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

    So my last question for you is, what’s your favorite classics remake?

Well, that’s it for Five for the Fifth. Now please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ’em all!