I am personally an avid fan of Kevin Costner as an actor. I enjoyed him in Oliver Stone's epic JFK (1991), where Costner played the leading man. I also enjoyed Roger Donaldson's Thirteen Days (2000) featuring Costner.
Let's not forget the blockbuster, tearjerker movie The Bodyguard (1992) (nominated for two Oscar's, of which there is now a theatre adaptation) featuring Costner alongside Whitney Houston. This spawned the classic ballad 'I Will Always Love You' as the soundtrack to the film.
I think it is safe to say that Kevin Costner is a veteran actor with extensive experience in many different genres of film, including action. His performance in 3 Days to Kill was mediocre at best, possibly due to the writer's intention for his character. There was no diversity, creativity or uniqueness that stamped Costner's talents to the narrative; several other actors could have played that role.
The plot consists of an ageing C.I.A. agent, Ethan Renner (Costner), close to retirement, who has a wife sick and tired of his secrecy and a daughter he hasn't seen since she was a little girl. After being seriously injured in a foiled reconnaissance mission, Ethan recovers in hospital, only for the doctor to tell him he is dying of a rare condition.
As the story moves along Ethan is presented the opportunity of a breakthrough drug able to cure him of his ailment, if only he completes one more mission… one last mission before he sees his wife and daughter again.
The elements that make up this film range from cliche to typical, making this an action film that fails to differentiate itself from the many other action films out there. 3 Days to Kill even sounds like a low budget, B-movie starring Steven Seagal. The only difference is that this film is touted as this year's 'must watch'.
The performances of certain cast members in the film are stiff and unyielding. In addition to this the film makes an attempt at comedy and more often than not fails repeatedly.
If you are an action film junkie and need an instant fix of gunshot, explosion, glass shattering, people screaming - then I can understand why you would choose to see this film, but for regular folk...you might want to avoid this one.