A former CIA agent is so ill he’s given months to live, so who should be cast to play him?
Kevin Costner clears his gruff throat so often as Ethan Renner it’s a wonder he wasn’t called Kevin Coughner on the credits.
Renner has spent too long away from his wife Christine (Danish star Connie Nielsen) and daughter Zooey (True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld).
And so when he learns of his own illness after a botched mission, he’s determined to become a better husband and father, miraculously teaching Zooey how to ride a bike in minutes.
Meanwhile, fellow assassin Vivi Delay (Amber Heard) has a special serum that could prolong his life if he accepts one more job... to finally take out arms trafficker The Wolf (Richard Sammel) and his remarkable-looking henchman The Albino (Tómas Lemarquis).
Ethan is pitched somewhere between the ruthless durability of a James Bond and Liam Neeson’s determination to get his daughter back inTaken (2008).
Having also co-written that film, Luc Besson’s fingerprints are all over this farcical story in which Renner’s terminal illness means “dead men have nothing to lose”.
3 Days To Kill might lack the muscle of Besson’s seminal X-rated thriller Léon (1994) but still feels hideously violent for a 12A.
Set in picturesque Paris, it’s a mindlessly entertaining, disjointed, frequently unbelievable hell-for-leather action adventure for adults, with a misplaced subplot involving the housing rights of a black family.
At least it’s more dynamic than all of director McG’s previous films, including the recycled Charlie’s Angels and Terminator Salvation.
And it’s good to see the now 58-year-old Costner leading an action thriller again for the first time since the underrated Mr Brooks (2007).