Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

3 Days To Kill



CIA agent Ethan is dying. He has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has just a few months left to live.
However, upon meeting the glamorous Vivi he is offered the chance to extend his life with the use of an experimental drug.
With one condition: he is to carry out one last assignment..



(at time of publishing this review, I watched Mark Kermode on BBC’s Film Review talk about how bad this movie is).



Kevin Costner – Ethan Renner

Amber Heard – Vivi Delay

Hailee Steinfeld – Zooey Renner

Connie Neilsen – Christine Renner

Tómas Lemarquis – The Albino

Richard Sammel – The Wolf




3 Days To Kill has to be THE WORST ‘action’ movie I have ever had the misfortune of sitting through. Mediocre at best, it consists of Kevin Costner strutting around filming locations as ineffective as best as a person possibly can. Action movie stunts and explosions happen throughout, but are forgotten instantly. An insult to the Action genre, this movie was very badly written and produced, blending action and humour in a way which fucked the thing up royally. The witty dialogue used throughout created a comical atmosphere instead of the tense, enjoyable ride I assumed Costner would deliver – therefore resulting in a dark (unfunny) comedy rather than the ‘action flick’ the synopsis leads you to believe. And that’s another element I picked up on – the script wasn’t funny either.

Jesus, how do I write this review?

Did ANYTHING go right?

At all?…



The Lost Story

What pissed me off most about 3 Days To Kill was the jumpiness of the plot. Because as well as Ethan’s mission, the relationship issues between him and his estranged daughter arise. Blending these two stories together resulted in scenes which didn’t run alongside each other – they got tangled up and made a great big mess. For example, shortly after Vivi approches Ethan and sends him on a ‘mission’, his daughter Zooey is introduced. The movie literally jumps from a heated hotel shoot-em-up to a soft, emotional encounter with his daughter.

Later on, Ethan encounters a handful of bad guys and a brawl erupts. “Oh good” I thought, “a nice bit of action..” ..the scene suddenly blended into a sweet scene where he teaches Zooey to ride a bicycle.

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.48.50 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.49.01

This movie is awfully constructed, jumping from heated scene to emotional family scene. At one point, I actually wondered what the story was supposed to focus more on: the father-daughter relationship, or the father’s job. One, then the other, it was confusing. I think what sealed the deal for me was the fact humorous one-liner’s and dalogue were constant. A good action movie usually involves a slick character who occasionally breaks the barrier of his / her smart, professional personality by dropping a line which has the audience roaring with laughter. Annoyingly, the director had a habit of using such dialogue continuously which made 3 Days To Kill look like a cheesy attempt at being hilarious – which fell on it’s arse.

 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.49.11


Losing The Plot

One scene sees Ethan ambush and imprison a gentleman who he needs informaion from. He ties the man up with masking tape, by the ankles and wrists. As he walks slowly towards the man, he threatens him by saying he’ll hurt him by the time he gets to three.




..his mobile phone rings.
(scattered laughter from one or two audience members at the familiarity of the Icona Pop ringtone). It is his daughter on the line, needing advice – on how to make “the perfect pasta sauce”.
Ethan puts Zooey on loudspeaker and proceeds to instigate a conversation between the kidnapped man and his daughter, in which yells of culnary advice such as, “you need capers” and “my mama always used a teaspoon of sugar” are heard.

I sat staring at the screen, eyes wide, an expression of half-dumbfounded, half-disgusted on my face.
Was this a serious kidnap situation or a farce?

Any other action hero with a dry sense of humour would have nailed this scene; Bruce Willis for example – everything about Bruce fits perfectly into action movies, proven by his talent at delvering seriousness with sarcastic humour. Kevin Costner did an awful job of balancing the two elements (and managing this scene specifically), I honestly couldn’t place him – was he coming or going?

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.54.25 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.54.43 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.55.02

Another irritant was Ethan shoving one of the bad guys into his car boot. The first time he does it, he delives a witty line – again creating an overall comedy feel – but the second time.. Jesus. He ambushes the same bad guy again – and the victim reluctantly slumps towards Ethan’s car, moaning, “I have to be back by four, to pick my daughters up from school” whilst climbing willingly into the trunk.

Again, I sat staring at the screen in awe.
And the man sat behind me in the cinema let out a proper “I’m enthused about EVERYTHING in life therefore find unfunny things funny” roar of a laugh.
He was the only person who actually laughed.

I’d had enough. I wanted to walk out.




Ethan: “what kind of kid doesn’t know how to ride a bike?!”
(Me: “the kind who didn’t have a dad to teach her?”)
Zooey: “..the kind who never had a father to teach her!”

Yes. I actually KNEW and spoke at the same time the response Zooey was going to give. I felt psychic for a second – then realised this movie was just a load of predictable bullshit.

Another scene I despised was:
Ethan returning home to the sound of “ARRGH!” – a singular, ‘There’s no emergency, I’m just slightly frustrated’ scream from Zooey.
Panicked and thinking she’s being attacked, he (bizarrely) kicks the door knob off the door and asks if she’s alright.
“no” she replies in a calm (yes – calm) manner. NOTE: there is no other sound coming from behind her bedroom door.

..Ethan then bursts into the room to the sound of loudly playing rock music as his daughter stands looking in the mirror, unhappy at how her new hairstyle looks. This was all beyond ridiculous – and not in a good way. I think I actually reached down and clutched my bag, preparing to leave the cinema.


Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.59.17 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.59.35 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.58.34 

What Went Right

Absolutely nothing.
I’m sorry to say the casting, story, action and overall score were absolutely fucking disgraceful. I literally cannot pinpoint anything that was good or remotely entertaining about this movie.

 Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 12.01.26


3 Days To Kill is to be avoided at all costs.
Cost being the relevant word, because if you PAY to see this movie then you’re a bloody fool – harsh, but true.
This movie uses the cliché ‘man seperated from wife who never quite moved on and possible rekindling may happen, with a distant daughter who hates him yet starts to realise that hey – he’s not ALL bad’ plot in order to scrape by.
It is an extremely dull watch, where any tension / possible excitement is immediately stamped out by the irrelevant humour written into the script.

The Americans donn’t speak French, the French all speak English, and a language barrier is non-existant. Yet they’re all in Paris.

It’s actually starting to irritate me just thinking about this movie again.
In a nutshell: dont’ bother.





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This entry was posted on June 21, 2014 by .
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