After Taken became a surprise box office success that reinvented Liam Neeson as cinema’s most bankable action star on the cusp of his 60th birthday, many actors of a similar age suddenly pricked up their ears. When audiences proved so willing to embrace Neeson’s Bryan Mills throat-punching his way across Europe, a slew of titles swiftly arrived to spawn the so-called ‘geriaction’ subgenre.
Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp were at the forefront of this, hiring ageing stars to lead the production company’s standard B-level efforts, although results were decidedly mixed. For instance, John Travolta’s From Paris with Love remains an underrated gem, but the same can’t be said for Kevin Costner’s 3 Days to Kill.
Directed by the reliably mediocre McG, the movie follows Costner’s terminally ill elite CIA operative, who retires from the game to spend time with his estranged wife and daughter. However, he takes on one final mission to bring in one of the world’s most wanted terrorists after being offered a potentially life saving drug while trying to balance his duties as a father.
Amber Heard plays the government assassin that sets the plot in motion, and the actress isn’t required to do much other than spout exposition and wear a leather catsuit. 3 Days to Kill was a modest box office success, though, after earning just over $50 million against a $28 million budget, but reviews weren’t particularly kind for the formulaic and derivative shoot em’ up.
And though the movie is exactly the kind of lower tier actioner that always tends to play well on Netflix, and many similar titles have managed to crack the streaming service’s Top 10 most-watched list, if the recent headlines are anything to go by, then the mere presence of Amber Heard might be enough to put a lot of people off when it hits the platform on December 1st.