STORY: CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) wants to retire and reconnect with his wife Christine (Nielsen) and daughter Zoey (Steinfeld). Before he can, he is tasked with one final dangerous mission. REVIEW: McG has many music videos as well as films like Terminator: Salvation and Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle to his credit.
Here, he ropes in Costner for a surprisingly fun flick, written by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak. The film manages to combine elements of camp with a vamp CIA assassin called Vivi Delay (Heard), father-daughter bonding, teenage angst, humour and car chases down cobbled streets and Parisian pavements. Renner finds out that he has terminal cancer one day. Faced with this eventuality, he moves back to Paris where his wife and daughter live, to spend some quality time with them.
His Parisian apartment, however, is inhabited by a family of African squatters. So, he has no choice but to move in with Christine till the squatters move out after a stipulated time. While Renner tries to get reacquainted with Zoey, Vivi tracks him down near a market one afternoon, and makes him an offer he can’t refuse – nab a dangerous arms trafficker called The Wolf (Sammel) and his lieutenant called The Albino (Lemarquis). In return, she offers him the elixir of life – a potion delivered in a syringe which looks like it was nicked from a kid’s chemistry set.
Combining a catwoman bodysuit with over-the-top innuendoes – suggestively straddling his lap while injecting him with the medicine, lascivious movements, puns about making him feel good – these aren’t the only things that make Renner’s heart race. The medicine too gets his heartbeat up and Vivi tells him that generous slugs of vodka are the antidote to that. The villains look like stock Cold War era villains handpicked from the 70s. It all leads to a showdown between Renner and The Wolf at the unlikeliest of events. Lighthearted while managing to mix a torture scene with a recipe for spaghetti sauce, the film’s myriad elements come together with a deft touch, without losing the plot.