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Three days, three women, one Kevin

Costner becomes an American in Paris for CIA story with a heart

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 06:00 am

GOOD GUY Ė Kevin Costner delivers a solid performance in 3 Days To Kill.
GOOD GUY Ė Kevin Costner delivers a solid performance in 3 Days To Kill.
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3 Days to Kill
Stars: 4.0
Starring Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen and Amber Heard
Directed by McG
Written by Adi Hasak and Luc Besson
Rated 14A for frequent genre violence, coarse language and nudity.
Runtime: 117 minutes
Now playing at Cineplex Odeon North Edmonton and Scotiabank Theatres

Everybodyís favourite (or least favourite) Hollywood golden boy has been making a resurgence in movies lately. Iíll admit that I often love Kevin Costner movies while hardly appreciating the work of the man himself in them. Time has a way of changing things. 3 Days to Kill is an excellent movie and yes, Mr. C does a damn fine job of things.

Costner plays Ethan Renner, a retired CIA agent who finds out that he is terminally ill. While looking to reconcile with his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), he is approached by Vivi Delay (Amber Heard), a mysterious young woman who uses an experimental drug as a bargaining chip to coax him back into action.

But thereís a catch: Christine will only let him near Zoey on the promise that he isnít ďin the businessĒ anymore. His job is what drove the family apart, after all.

This is what I would call a dilly of a pickle. His life is hanging by a thread. He needs to buy more time to smooth things out with his wife and daughter. The only way he can get help is by doing the one thing that his wife made him promise not to do. Itís a good thing that Ethan is cool as a cucumber.

Thereís a lot to appreciate in the new film by McG, the director who made Charlieís Angels such a fun flick. It probably helped a lot that famed French polymath Luc Besson was behind the story. One could do a comparison and see how 3 Days takes a lot of elements from his first major Hollywood film Lťon (better known as The Professional) but improves upon it somewhat for a more mature audience.

This is not just an action movie about a highly-trained special agent who has all the guns, gets into fast-flying fisticuffs and hard-driving street races ŗ la The Bourne Identity. 3 Days also isnít just a tender drama about a man trying against all odds to reconnect with the people he loves the most. Also, it isnít just a comedy about an aging spy who runs into all kinds of absurd situations while juggling work and his private life.

Itís all three of those and more. McG does an impressive job of juggling all those simultaneous and intermingling storylines while still offering a complicated formulaic movie that has a heart. It should do as much to appeal to younger as well as older cinemagoers. And truth be told, it can easily find fans of any gender.

In short, I liked 3 Days to Kill a lot. Itís still a Hollywood movie but one could Ė if one was so inclined Ė dig deeper to ponder its more profound meanings about the importance of family, and more specifically, the value of women. Itís practically a love letter to all women. This really shouldnít come as any surprise since Besson has put women on a pedestal across his entire oeuvre with strong female characters in such telltale works as La Femme Nikita, Lťon, The Messenger and The Fifth Element.

I even enjoyed Kevin Costnerís work in it too, something I donít say too often. Iím already looking forward to my second viewing.


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