Movie Review: ‘3 Days To Kill’


Nick Hamden [email protected]

“3 Days To Kill” achieved a 2/5 by Iowa State Daily movie reviewer Nick Hamden.

Nick Hamden

The most infuriating thing about “3 Days To Kill” is the trailer.

The trailer did not come out until late December, only a few months before the actual movie, but when it did it quickly over-saturated the movie-going experience. I probably saw this trailer for at least 80 percent of the movies I watched in January and February before it came out.

I am upset is because the trailer itself is not that good, which I will discuss further later, and they only had one trailer. Some films have as many as four trailers to help build up hype and showcase different elements. If you are going to flood me with trailers from one movie, they shouldn’t be the same thing every time.

Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a lifetime member of the CIA. He is an agent on the ground, never advancing up the ladder, but he is really efficient at killing people. During an attempt to capture The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his main hit man The Albino (Tomas Lemarquis), a lot of factors go wrong, people die and Ethan finds out he has cancer.

Renner gets dismissed by the CIA, and he attempts to live out his remaining time with his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld).

But when Renner only has a few months left to live, Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) walks into his life needing him to re-enlist as the only person alive who has probably seen The Wolf’s face. She will give him a big bonus to his family, huge life insurance policy and an experimental cure to maybe save his life. You know, if he works for her to bring down The Wolf once and for all.

Back to the trailer, it is bad for one reason: it is super deceptive in its showcasing of the film. Not only does it mash up multiple scenes and dialogue constantly to tell a false narrative in the trailer (making it seem a bit hokey in my mind), but it also does not match the pace or style of the movie at all. If you like the trailer for “3 Days To Kill,” you might still hate the movie because they are so different. 

Bad and deceptive trailers are the worst. Trailers are usually made by advertising companies, not the people who made the movie, and sometimes they do a really poor job. “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” had an amazing trailer, partially because it was made by Ben Stiller himself.

The actual movie is also a mess. I blame most of it on timing and pacing issues. We are told he has about five months to live after his first faint, so he goes home a day or two later to see the wife and kids. All of the sudden, without an explanation he only has a few days left. There was no montage, there was no large passing of time, nothing.

I cannot tell if the script is horribly written, if they accidentally cut out transition scenes or they just did not care.

It was not just that issue. Pacing was bad all over the place, as they tried to put in the family plot that not only slowed it all down, but never felt real. There was an extremely awkward “club” scene about halfway through, and it was not really brought up afterwards. The ending itself would bring up a lot of problems that they also choose to ignore.

After more research, I found out that Luc Beeson wrote a lot of this movie, and now it all makes perfect sense. All of the issues, being so euro-centric, crime plus family, all of it. 

Avoid “3 Days To Kill” or else you might start questioning time as you know it.