Writer-producer Luc Besson is the master of the Euro-thriller. 2014’s 3 Days To Kill sees Kevin Costner kick ass and take names whilst taking in the sights of Paris and looking cool in the process. This might sound like a Taken clone, but it’s more of a jovial spy-romp than a hard-edge revenge tale. It helps that Costner has more on-screen charisma in his little finger than Liam Neeson does in his massive frame.
Costner plays Ethan Renner, a CIA agent stationed in Paris who wants to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld). This is made even more urgent when he learns that he has cancer. However his new boss (Amber Heard) helps out by slipping him a new experimental drug with strange side-effects, in order to track down an international criminal. Renner must balance his ailing health, the pressure of international espionage, as well as keeping up with parenting duties of his high-maintenance teenage daughter. If anyone can do it – Costner can.
The notorious Charlie’s Angels director McG may once have been a cinematic anti-Christ, however he acquits himself well with 3 Days To Kill. Maybe it’s having Costner and Besson onboard to keep him on the straight and narrow, but the artist formally known as Joesph McGinty Nichol has ditched the OTT aesthetic which made his Angels movies so dire.
It’s Kevin Costner who makes 3 Days To Kill so special. He commands the screen in true movie star fashion, using charisma to paper over the more ludicrous elements of Adi Hasak and Luc Besson’s screenplay. The star is able to balance the humour and the action, showing actors half his age how things are done.
Produced for $28 million, 3 Days To Kill grossed $30 million at the US box office and $53.2 million worldwide when it was released in 2014.