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Review: 3 Days To Kill

Costner saves the day - I hope to see him on the bus

(12A)

    Shady character: Kevin Costner is impressive in 3 Days To Kill
    Shady character: Kevin Costner is impressive in 3 Days To Kill

    I saw Kevin Costner on a bus the other day. Sadly he was not seated beside me on the 107, which would have been nice, but stretched across an outside panel looking rugged and extremely handsome in the poster for 3 Days To Kill.

    This got me thinking about the last time I saw Costner, which I think was in Mr Brooks, in which he was excellent at portraying a serial killer.

    I've never really understood why Hollywood went cold on Kevin, who won hearts and minds with his Dances With Wolves, but then sunk with Waterworld, which is much better than you remember.

    There have been movies since, but now director McG (not an acronym for Melbourne Cricket Ground) has cast him as Ethan Renner, an ageing CIA agent who is told he has three months to live while in pursuit of a wanted terrorist called The Wolf.

    The bad guy's moniker is the clue to Luc Besson's involvement as the writer of the project and for those of us who enjoy his penchant for mixing sock it to'em action with glib comedy, it's an enjoyable outing.

    The story is hampered by too many elements that amount to nothing

    I doubt that he will ever come close to delivering anything as exceptional as Leon (1994) again. But I like the way that he allows his hitmen to have some sort of home life - and so we have Renner heading to Paris to spend time with his estranged wife (Connie Nielson) and typically difficult teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld).

    You may remember Steinfeld - whose father is Jewish - for being Oscar nominated for True Grit and she has enough to play with here as she and her tough-guy dad get to know one another.

    But the story is hampered by too many elements that amount to nothing, such as the family of squatters who have moved into Renner's apartment and a ridiculously over-the-top female agent/seductress (Amber Heard), who barters with an untested potentially life-saving antidote in exchange for our hero helping to nail The Wolf. It's a messy business, but Costner, cool and remote, is the film's saving grace.

    I hope I get to see him on a bus again soon.

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