3 Days to Kill is an action-thriller-black comedy and it follows the exploits and escapades of CIA agent Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) as he works to capture arms trafficker The Wolf and his creepy lieutenant The Albino. The Albino has a limp courtesy of a past encounter with Renner and has a particular penchant for decapitation of his victims. Renner discovers that he has cancer of the brain which has spread to his lungs, giving him only three months to live.
With this news of his pending mortality he heads for Paris to reconnect with his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zooey( Hailee Steinfeld). On his return to Paris he discovers that his apartment has been occupied by a family of squatters with a very heavily pregnant teenage daughter.
Renner reluctantly lets them stay until the baby is born and his kindness evolves and is evident as he is present with the family for the birth and, subsequently, as his relationship with his daughter improves. Enter obnoxiously confident CIA assassin Vivi( Amber Heard) who entices Renner out of retirement to destroy the Wolf and The Albino with the lure of an experimental drug which promises prolong his life.
This film is full of clichés; it is saturated with them. The plot is uninspired and underdeveloped and the fact that The Wolf is a business associate of the father of Zooey’s boyfriend is conveniently coincidental. However, the interspersed humour constantly present saves this production and gives it heart and a genuine likeability. There is a fundamental comical juxtaposition throughout, as Renner tries to juggle being father to a wayward teenager with killing and torturing the bad guys. There are witty one-liners and homourous anecdotes throughout.
Aesthetically the film is very pleasing as it is mainly shot in Paris and the scenery is beautiful. The music selection is tremendous, opening with Trouble, Heartaches and Sadness by Ann Peebles. There are many impressive fight scenes and ample action present, which does not allow the film to over-indulge in the sentimental. 3 Days to Kill is in no way a game changer but it fits snuggly into the guilty pleasure category.
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