Costner coasts along smoothly
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Costner coasts along smoothly

Kevin Costner in 3 Days to Kill.

Kevin Costner in 3 Days to Kill.

3 Days To Kill
Director: McG
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
117 mins; Class 12; KRS Releasing Ltd

Kevin Costner was one of the biggest stars of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a Hollywood fixture from his early roles in the likes of Fandango (1985). He has appeared in movies which have now become classics including Bull Durham (1988), Field of Dreams (1989), and JFK (1991).

He made his mark as a fully-fledged filmmaker with 1990’s Dances With Wolves – producing, directing and starring in it, a success story that culminated in seven Academy Awards among many international accolades.

While never quite falling off the radar, for the past few years Costner has been working under it, appearing in small roles on the big screen, but making waves on the small one, including his role in the award-winning mini-series The Hatfields and McCoys: An American Vendetta as ‘Devil’ Anse Hatfield, a role that earned him many acting awards, proving once more to his detractors that he was always more than a heart-throb, delivering some solid performances through his career.

More than enough going forit to engage the interest

His fans ought to be delighted to see Costner once more carrying a film in 3 Days to Kill, as ex-CIA operative Ethan Renner, who after a mission goes horribly wrong for him both personally and professionally, is let go by the agency and decides to reconnect with his estranged wife Christine (Connie Neilsen) and daughter Zooey (Hailee Steinfeld) who live in Paris.

While there, he is approached by the mysterious CIA operative Vivi (Amber Heard) who offers him the chance to make up for the botched mission. The only thing is that he has promised his wife he is out of the business – so juggling his familial duties and his latest job proves a challenge.

3 Days to Kill is, in a way, a hybrid of a spy thriller and a family drama. Neither fully live up to their potential - action buffs may find the action scenes solid but predictable, and the characters overall are a little shallow.

The plot is full of gigantic holes, remarkable coincidences and raises some questions. Why would Vivi, a young, dynamic and exceptionally proficient professional assassin, assign her task to a veteran agent who, while still rather competent, is past his prime? And how fortunate is she that her target is holed up in Paris, where Renner is visiting his family? Moreover, a subplot involving a family of squatters who have moved into Ethan’s apartment seems a little superfluous.

If, however, you are prepared to overlook this and more, 3 Days to Kill has plenty to offer and has more than enough going for it to engage the interest if you have a couple of hours to kill.

Costner is clearly having a ball and tackles his role with a twinkle in the eye and his tongue firmly in cheek. He tackles the role of a man more adept at bringing down dangerous terrorists, firing guns, kidnapping bad guys and negotiating Paris traffic at breakneck speeds than handling his teen daughter’s hair crises or buying her the right bicycle.

He shares some moving and funny scenes with Steinfeld – one where he coerces an Italian accountant to give Zooey a pasta sauce recipe in the midst of a rough interrogation raises a few laughs. Steinfeld, another of today’s up-and-coming remarkable talents, hits all the right notes as the daughter a bit suspicious of her father suddenly reappearing in her life. Heard and Neilsen offer solid support; the former relishing her femme fatale role.

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