Kevin Costner makes a bid for Liam Neeson’s misanthropic action star status, armed with a Luc Besson script, a curmudgeonly attitude, mad CIA skills and an estranged daughter. With Costner’s dying ex-CIA assassin forced top keep his heart rate low, it sometimes feels like Crank in reverse – i.e. painfully slow. Director McG seems unsure whether to play the father/daughter relationship for laughs, and True Grit’s Steinfeld is wasted in a boilerplate ‘troubled teen’ role. Costner, however, is convincing – not so muchs ‘too old for this shit’ as too good – although the scene where his grizzled hitman teaches his daughter to ride a bike is more excruciating than anything in the Hostel films. ★★
VERDICT Costner does his best with yet another bashed-out Besson script with a direct-to-video plot, but Neeson’s shoes prove surprisingly hard to fill. Got 2 hours to kill? Spend them elsewhere.