Film review: Three Days To Kill (12A)

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WHAT'S ON

Three Days To Kill
(12A) 117mins
★★✩✩✩

Sometime soon, a bright young thing will find a revivalist project for Kevin Costner, who appears to drag himself forlornly around the fringes of the big time wondering where it all went wrong.

We know the answer but it is a typically LA cruel one. However, that sense of grizzled, faded, used-to-be-a-contender presence is a gift for a revisionist. This film calls on those qualities but the vehicle is so lop-sided and mismanaged that the opportunity is wasted.

Usually when an A-lister turns up in a continental European action movie its for the money or exposure.

But Taken and The Transporter have added lustre to that sub-genre and Costner follows Liam Neesom and Jason Statham to batter the cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Here, in a story by Luc Besson, he plays a washed-up (and very sick) CIA agent Ethan Renner on one last mission while simultaneously spending time trying to re-connect with his truculent teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) as his estranged wife spends time in London. Three Days To Kill. Geddit?

The action sequences are deftly handled by Charlie's Angels director McG and the Paris backdrops do their thing with suitable aplomb. All is set then for a swift, action flick with a family dimension thrown in.

Unfortunately, the idea that his daughter is "his toughest assignment" swamps and destabilises the movie, slamming the brakes on with protracted chapters that are implausible and trite.

In Taken, Neesom managed to convey love of family by punching a bad guy in the face. Here, the director has Costner endlessly grappling with ringtones, hair dramas and handsy boyfriends when the audience is baying for some gun-totin' action.

Ultimately, McG, like Ethan, fails to get the right work-life balance.

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