Director McG’s most recent theatrical release was This Means War – a romantic comedy mashed together with a spy action vehicle – whereas Luc Besson’s best-known work of late has been the Taken movies; a series of father/daughter dramas explored by way of a Euro-thriller template (with political overtones), which Besson co-wrote and produced.
Maybe it’s appropriate then that McG and Besson’s upcoming collaboration, 3 Days to Kill, looks and feels like a mashup of elements from their most recent projects. The film stars Kevin Costner – fresh off playing a more complex Jonathan ‘Pa’ Kent in this year’s Superman movie reboot Man of Steel – as Ethan Runner, an international spy who must perform two dangerous (well, in a manner of speaking) assignments: carry out his final mission – tracking down the world’s most wanted terrorist – and look after his estranged teen daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), while his ex-wife (Connie Nielsen) is out of town.
As the 3 Days to Kill trailer establishes, the script from Besson and Adi Hasak (From Paris with Love) gives Runner additional motivation: he may only have a few days left to live, unless he successfully pulls off that coveted ‘one last job’ for the government. Rounding out the ensemble is Amber Heard (Machete Kills), as Runner’s coworker, who provides him with the necessary medical supplement to keep himself alive – for now, anyway.
Besides the components derived from previous action B-movies – like the screen story that even features a Crank-style twist - the 3 Days to Kill trailer footage makes the film look more like an McG action/comedy that a Besson creation. Consider, for example, the running joke where Costner attempts to balance his crazy professional lifestyle with being a normal father; that’s par the course for the director behind the Charlie’s Angels movies and This Means War - less so with Besson’s more off-beat and quirky humor.
Indeed, Besson’s movies – good and bad – generally have a more satirical vibe and/or darkly comical jabs at social/political humor (see: The Family), whereas 3 Days to Kill seems more like a blend of intentionally over the top action with a sitcom center. That might just be a bit of misdirection for marketing purposes – though if not, the pairing of award-winner Costner and Steinfeld (who has continued to impress this year in Romeo and Juliet and Ender’s Game) may be enough to sell the whole thing… maybe.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.