In the life of every leading man of the movies there comes a time when the legacy of their youth runs the risk of being wiped out by the inadequacies of their post middle age. Some like Jeff Bridges, Morgan Freeman and Harrison Ford further their fame and fan following in their fifties while others, scrape by or fade away. Kevin Costner with his ” I am a mature Farm Hand” looks tailored to a Mills & Boons fantasy has seen many a success in his day. When Whitney crooned to him in The Bodygaurd and when he played a cheesy Robin Hood with gusto, he was something to look forward to. His last publicized performance as the father of Superman in the Man of Steel was also nice. It sort of promised a decent comeback, as a mature father figure who balances emotion and responsibility in a way you expect in men of his age. In this action, drama, spy, wannabe thriller he does try to play a similar roles but with something which can be called anything but a success.
Costner is an underpaid CIA assassin who is tasked with taking out an arms dealer with Nuclear aspirations. He passes out in pursuit of the baddie’s lackey discovering he has a terminal disease with a few days to set things straight with his stereo-typically estranged and frustrated wife and a daughter whose upbringing he missed. The story is clearly a product of the mind of a failed action novelist whose idea of creativity and imagination is an interrogation scene involving two fathers who see electrocution of ear lobes as a professional necessity. To his credit one of the writers, Luc Besson has produced works like Leon: The Professional and Taken 2 , the influences of which are more than apparent in this momentous let down.
The tale moves around a ruthless killer who just happens to be a loving father. This man who has wiped blood of his hands more often than he has changed diapers displays a very predictable desire to teach his teenage daughter cycling, interfere in her love life and encourage her to punch annoying classmates. Crafted to cash in on the father – daughter dynamics of Costner and Hailee Steinfeld , the movie with the True Grit star fails to deliver. A Lady Gaga rip off with heightened libido recruits the dying hero to kill the arms dealer in exchange for injections which may fend off his disease. What stood the chance of decent action is spoiled by a director who by name could pass off for a Mac Donald creation. McG lets the camera swing from kissing scenes to killing scenes with some morbid sense of similarity between the passion each carries. It is not long into the movie that it becomes unintentionally humorous. A weak villain, non existent plot, acting which has seen better days and mind numbing hallucinations which disappear for the protagonist on vodka consumption but linger for the viewers, that’s this movie.
The only reason you might go to see this is if you harbor the illusion that the promise of Kevin Costner with a gun would be something like Mr. Brooks. But then that wasn’t directed by someone who reduces his given name to 3 letters, perhaps so that it becomes easier to spell.