Matt Adcock’s film review: 3 Days To Kill can be Taken as another ‘dangerous dad’ thriller

Amber Heard and Kevin Costner in 3 Days To Kill
Amber Heard and Kevin Costner in 3 Days To Kill

“My job is to hunt terrorists. I don’t negotiate. Within three days, I will find you. You can start counting.”

Meet Ethan Renner (Kevin ‘Man Of Steel’ Costner) – a grizzled, wrinkly CIA hit man who is one of the best out there despite his grey hair.

The black ops and ‘wet work’ for his country have taken their toll on his family life, though – his estranged wife Christine (Connie ‘Gladiator’ Nielsen) has virtually given up on him and his teenage daughter Zooey (Hailee ‘Enders Game’ Steinfeld) can no longer bring herself to call him ‘dad’.

What’s a man to do? Well, when diagnosed with terminal brain cancer Renner decides to put the killing behind him and try to make up with his family.

Alas, ultra vixen CIA operative Vivi Delay (Amber ‘All The Boys Love Mandy Lane’ Heard) has other ideas and tempts him to take a final assignment – to kill an arms dealing scumbag known as The Wolf in exchange for an experimental drug that might just extend his life…

That’s all you need to know about the plot, because even before the opening credits 3 Days To Kill has delivered a superb gun fight, some nasty kills and a botched ‘happy birthday’ phone call.

And the action doesn’t really let up thanks to this coming from the team behind Taken and being written by Luc ‘Leon: The Professional’ Besson.

Director McG isn’t known for bringing sensitive fare to the screen but he surprises here. This is his first non Hollywood flick and he manages to blend the disparate elements of family drama and brutal torture and killing effectively.

The glue that holds the car chasing, beating and shooting together with the adjusting to help a teen daughter with her social life is a sharp vein of dark humour.

Costner is good value in the lead – the dangerous dad role suits him even more than it did Neeson in Taken – and the bad guys include a rent-a-psycho albino (Tómas Lemarquis) and of course The Wolf (Richard ‘Casino Royale’ Samuel) along with many disposable henchmen which it is fun watching Costner stylishly dispatch.

Then of course there is Amber Heard, who sizzles every time she’s on screen, and Steinfeld who gives good teenage angst.

3 Days To Kill delivers a fun, action packed cinematic thrill ride – it’s perfect Friday night is movie night material.