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With: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, T—mas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel, Marc AndrŽoni
Written by: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson, based on a story by Luc Besson
Directed by: McG
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
Running Time: 113
Date: 02/21/2014

3 Days to Kill (2014)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Snappy 'Days'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Once again writer and producer Luc Besson has cranked out another second-tier, unpretentious action entertainment with a minimum of fuss. To be sure, 3 Days to Kill is ridiculous in spots and downright preposterous in others, but it keeps up a brisk pace, throws in some interesting flourishes from time to time, and manages to cook up some genuinely sympathetic, interesting, and likable characters.

The CIA is on the trail of an international weapons dealer, called "The Wolf." Agent Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) is tasked to find him. Agent Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is also on the job, but lets a suspect get away when he passes out. It turns out he has brain cancer that has spread to his lungs. Moving to Paris to spend time with his teen daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), and perhaps to patch things up with his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen), he is contacted by Vivi; she thinks he can identify The Wolf, and if he helps, she can get him an experimental cancer treatment that could prolong his life. Unfortunately, his ex goes away for three days, leaving Ethan solely in charge of Zoey, who doesn't yet know the true nature of his job...

Costner is a major factor in the film's success. He is in great shape, but has developed the weathered look of a strong character actor. (He hits just the right notes when his daughter's ringtone interrupts his work.) Amber Heard is also a great help; she is the epitome of a great "B" movie star, sexy, but not a pushover. Then there's former music video director McG, who thus far has not shown much talent in storytelling, but has at least shown a strong hand at slick action sequences. That skill pays off here. Overall, 3 Days to Kill is an appealingly simple popcorn movie that doesn't take itself too seriously.

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