Under the Radar

Old Guy Action in '3 Days to Kill'



3 Days to Kill was producer/screenwriter Luc Besson's attempt to create another old-guy action franchise for Kevin Costner along the lines of the miracle he performed with Liam Neeson on Taken. It's out now on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and digital. Filmed mostly in Paris and directed by McG (Terminator Salvation, Charlie's Angels, all those Offspring videos you loved in the '90s), the movie tries to combine a father/daughter relationship story with a full-blown shoot-'em-up.


Let's get some of your potential objections out of the way: Kevin Costner may not technically be too old to have a young teenage daughter (played by Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit and Ender's Game) but he looks a lot older than his 58 years in this movie and way too old to be getting (possibly) hit on by his hot CIA handler played by Amber Heard. The brain cancer that drives the plot and the alleged experimental drug that causes Costner's character Ethan Renner to hallucinate are not exactly convincing.

Luc Besson loves the old-guys-relating-to-young-girls stuff: see Taken, The Professional with Jean Reno & Natalie Portman and La Femme Nikita (both the original and the U.S. remake Point of No Return). Costner's beatdowns are constantly getting interrupted by calls from his daughter, who's made the two-year-out-of-date Icona Pop song "I Love It" his ringtone.


Still, it's Paris. A shootout in a luxury high rise generates a little extra buzz when the Eiffel Tower shines in the background.. And, if you can make it through the relationship stuff, there's enough action to appeal to anyone who's a fan of Besson's Transporter series with Jason Statham.

The opening shootout at a Slovakian hotel delivers. Amber Heard wears some nice disguises even if we never get a sense of why she's compelled to dress like a Eurotrash bondage model.  There's a lot of footage on the bonus features where the actors talk about how excited they are to work with Luc Besson and don't mention McG so much.


One big complaint about the digital version of this movie: some studios that participate in the UltraViolet system (Universal and Paramount) realize that it's got a few deficiencies and also offer an iTunes version of their film. Others (Warner, Fox & Sony) require that you use an UltraViolet compatible service. I've been using Flixster, which unfortunately delivers awful streaming quality on my Samsung TV even though the streaming on iPhone and iPad is as good as iTunes streaming. Relativity (which released 3 Days to Kill and Out of the Furnace) requires you to use Vudu or the new Target Ticket service when you redeem your digital code. And then the movie isn't available to stream via Flixster. The studios should get this straight: either UltraViolet is the "Watch It Anywhere!" service they're advertising or it isn't.

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