3 Days to Kill

Writer-director Luc Besson hit the jackpot in France with The Professional (1994), starring Jean Reno as a tenderhearted hit man who takes little Natalie Portman under his wing. That same year Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta arrived as lovable killers in Pulp Fiction, and since then the assassin has become a cuddlier figure in American movies, going back to high school (Grosse Pointe Blank), working out the kinks in a professional marriage (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), and shooting the bull (among other things) with a cabbie, just a regular guy at heart (Collateral). Couple this with the action cliche of the hero trying to balance job and family, and the inevitable result is Besson’s latest screenplay, 3 Days to Kill. Directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol (that’s McG to you), it’s the farcical, emotionally hollow tale of a lifelong CIA killer (Kevin Costner) trying to connect with his estranged teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit) before he dies of lung cancer. For God’s sake, can’t we just enjoy people getting shot once in a while? Read more.