Thursday, 26 June 2014

Review: 3 Days To Kill

World of Blackout Film Review

3 Days To Kill Poster

3 Days To Kill
Cert: 12A / 117 mins / Dir. McG
WoB Rating: 2/7

Dear Mr McG,

I am writing to thank you for the recent unsolicited submission of your screenplay, for the consideration of our client. It gave us several hours of amusement in the office until someone worked out that you are actually making this film. With actual money. Somehow.

We read, with varying degrees of interest, what appears to be a rejected first draft of a Die Hard sequel, which we imagine will play out on-screen like a series of very loosely connected set-pieces through which the central character ("Ethan") will wend his way in a daze, whether that part of the script requires it or not. Speaking of physical ailments, we also noticed in your proposed film that advanced terminal brain and lung cancer sporadically manifests itself as a) coughing and sniffling whilst holding a tissue and bottle of generic cough syrup, b) completely incapacitating hallucinogenic seizures, or c) neither of these and just acting with the same grumpy nonchalance that Bruce Willis has been trying so hard to copyright for himself for the past ten years. It also didn't escape our attention that Ethan's symptoms, or lack thereof, seem to bear no relation whatsoever to his intravenously administered wonder-drug that the CIA appear to have entrusted to the walking liability who's on their payroll (with not a single form of identification or corroboration, we might add).

Ah yes, "Vivi". That such a one-dimensional and generally inexplicable character could endorse and facilitate kidnap, torture, murder and terrorism in the name of the USA whilst on foreign soil, completely unencumbered by that country's security forces, could only come from the pen of Monsieur Besson. While the Taken franchise carries the lion's share of this Frenchman's apparent contempt for the French, it's heartening to see that casual xenophobia hasn't been forgotten, and the only police we'll meet in Paris in "3 Days…" are watching the football with their feet up and essentially shrugging when asked to do their job. At least the script calls for a shot of the Eiffel Tower every four minutes. We hope you paid Luc well.

We can also only assume you're going to have to edit the hell out of Amber Heard's performance if you're going to get that 12A certificate you're after, largely because the script has her as a bisexual, flirtatious, drug-dealing murderer who, aside from a brief opening scene in Langley VA, seems to have no discernible moral compass or affiliation. Here's hoping the final cut of the film doesn't reduce her to a series of short skirts and wigs, turning up every twenty five minutes to explain the plot.

And so, we're afraid that our client has no wish to play a troubled, divorced, workaholic father who means well deep down but just needs one more chance to prove it to his estranged wife and teenage daughter, and can do all of this whilst "reluctantly" shooting people in the head. We feel it's a role, much like the lazy screenplay itself, which is tired, clichéd and ultimately demeaning to any actor who would take it on.

Besides which, our client Mr Neeson is currently in preparation for Taken 3.

Maybe you could give Kev Costner a call? He apparently enjoyed that Jack Ryan gig and fancies another holiday, but with the spotlight on him, this time.

Best regards,
Ian McIanson (you can call me McI, if you like)
Celebrity Talent International

PS. I was under the impression from the opening pitch that the terminal illness from which Ethan is suffering would kill him in three days unless he complied with his unofficial 'employer' and carried out assassinations in return for the treatment/cure, giving the film's title a double meaning. In reality, this is not the case. You might want to fix that, if only because it stands to be the cleverest thing in the film at this rate.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
It probably is, yes.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
I did not.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I have no idea. It probably achieves what McG set out to do, but come on…

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
This is a £3 DVD from Asda which you'll watch once then give to a charity shop.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
I will a bit.

Will I watch it again?
I can't forsee the circumstances under which that would happen.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There IS. Finally. At the start of the deli-brawl when the clumsiest assassin in the world lets of his shotgun. It's no consolation. Neither is the boot-shot.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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