3 Days to Kill


This Catch-Up is written by Telaina Eriksen
Year of Release: 2014
Rating: PG-13

Currently Streaming on Netflix?: Yes.
Spoilers: The trailer shows this is an action movie, but surprise, it’s a FUNNY action movie.

My husband and I were both pretty exhausted at the end of last week. Our daughter was at college, studying for finals, and our son was hanging out with friends at the local gaming/comic book store. (But my family isn’t geeks. Noooo.) So we decided on 3 Days to Kill (Recommended for me based on my interest in Jack Reacher and Revenge!) I have a soft spot for certain Kevin Costner movies—Rumor Has It, Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup, Bull Durham and Waterworld. (Oh eff you, haters. If you don’t laugh hysterically over the fact that Kevin Costner has grown gills but we’re not out of oil yet and there are still cigarettes left, you don’t have any magic in your heart. I OWN WATERWORLD ON DVD.)

The set-up of 3 Days is pretty straightforward—while on a very important job, CIA Agent Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) passes out/faints which allows the villains to get away. He is transported to the hospital where he is diagnosed with brain cancer that has also metastasized in his lungs. He has just a few months to live. The United States government thanks him for his service and kicks him to the curb.

He moves to Paris (because that’s a much more interesting place to film then Anaheim) to re-establish a relationship with his daughter and his ex-wife. Soon after he is contacted by a beautiful mysterious operative (Amber Heard) to finish one last job for the CIA. Now we’re not quite sure if she works for the CIA, or why this beautiful mysterious operative can’t go kill these dudes herself? But in exchange for his services, she has some super seekrit cancer drugs which can extend Ethan’s life. So just sort of go with all that and this leaves you free to enjoy Ethan trying to deal with normal teenage parenting problems (there is an element of Taken in here. I will protect my little girl with all my special ops training!). The estrangement with his wife is stereotypical. And of course the beautiful mysterious operative propositions the much, much, much older Ethan (ick) but that seemed like something maybe Costner worked in his contract? I’ll do this 3 Days to Kill thing, but that hottie has to be scripted to want me. I know I’m cynical. But you’re a pretty woman with money and a nice car in Paris and your grandpa-chasing? Youth is wasted on the young. (I have nothing against grandpas. They’re awesome. But I’m also not 28.)

There are some real moments of humor in the movie—especially when Costner is trying to torture information out of people and his teenage daughter keeps texting and calling him. Any parent of a teenager who has to negotiate some parenting catastrophe from work will laugh it up in those moments. The action is entertaining and one or two unexpected things happen. This is the kind of harmless movie that is perfect for Netflix. You wouldn’t have paid $10 a ticket for it, but on the small screen with some burnt popcorn (made lovingly by your spouse of over 20 years), it is a fun way to pass a Friday evening.