Monday, February 24, 2014

3 Days to Kill

Luc Besson's script for "3 Days to Kill' attempts to recreate the hit-man by day/dad by night magic of "The Professional" (1994), but Kevin Costner is no Jean Reno and, more importantly, Hailee Steinfeld is no Natalie Portman.

It's not exact to say McG can't find the right tone for the material, but he doesn't make the tonal dissonance crackle and hum. The action material - involving the chase through Paris for a Serbian (natch) baddie nicknamed The Wolf - works best; there are a few involving sequences involving falling elevator shafts and gunshots through ceilings. But every time Costner's CIA agent is about to kill The Wolf, he comes down with a convenient case of paralysis related to the brain cancer that's left him with months to live. And Amber Heard has nothing to do but play dress-up and shake her ass as the operative who deploys him; it's a really retrograde part. Steinfeld, too, suffers from the lack of care toward the female characters; as Costner's estranged daughter, she whimpers and pouts unappealingly through most of her scenes, then has unaccountable, nearly menopausal mood swings in others.

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