© Universum/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany GmbH

Three Days to Kill
U.S.A./France/Greece/Russia 2014

Opening 8 May 2014

Directed by: McG
Writing credits: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson
Principal actors: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Tómas Lemarquis

To work for the CIA, Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) has sacrificed family life with wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld). His last assignment – killing “the Albino”, right hand of a yet to be identified terrorist known as “the Wolf” – didn’t go so well and landed him in the hospital where he is diagnosed with a terminal disease. Renner moves back to France to spend the few months he has left to reconnect with his ex-wife and daughter. Christine agrees to give it a try only if he quits his job for good. But along comes special agent Vivi (Amber Heard), and Renner takes the questionable deal she offers him: within three days he has to lure “the Wolf” to Paris and take him out; in exchange he will receive three injections of a not yet proven medication that may prolong – possibly save – his life.

As one would expect – with Costner in the lead – this action film isn’t without entertainment value. It even has its comic moments. Nielsen (Christine) and Steinfeld (Zooey) are well cast and the film is beautifully shot on location in Paris “of the beaten path”. Nevertheless, the 117 minutes appear rather lengthy; ideally the story would also have made more sense. (Why enlist a sickly agent that becomes completely defenseless when the injection wears off, is just one question that comes to mind.) The team, led by McG (director) and including Luc Besson (story, co-writer and producer), was unable to create a coherent story out of two story lines, with Renner juggling his CIA assignment and parenting his sassy teenage daughter, though Costner portrays both convincingly. (Carola A)

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