The Next Three Days

2011-01-21 12:20
 
The Next Three Days
What it's about:

Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) is accused of murdering her boss, with whom she had an argument right before her death. On her arrest and imprisonment all evidence indicates that she is guilty. Her relentlessly supportive husband John (Russell Crowe) however believes in her innocence and finds it hard to come to terms with her future behind bars. With the help of ex-convict Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson), who successfully escaped from prison seven times, he meticulously plans to break Lara out of prison and flee the US for good.

What we thought:

When you put acclaimed actors like Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks and director and screenwriter Paul Haggis together in a film, you would think that it could only produce something undoubtedly impressive. Apart from the convincing portrayals by Crowe and Banks, the movie fails to give you more than just another suspense thriller that will be forgotten the moment you exit the cinema.

Haggis, who helmed the Academy Award-winning Crash and wrote the screenplays for Clint Eastwood’s award-winning movies Million Dollar Baby and Flags of Our Fathers, is unable to hold the plot together here, with a story that's a bit more conventional than his previous work.
The Next Three Days is a remake of the 2007 French film Pour Elle (Anything for Her), which starred Diane Kruger and Vincent London and was directed by Fred Cavayé, who also helped with the filming of The Next Three Days, but still could not prevent his work from weakening somewhat on its trek Stateside.

Throughout the film you see John planning, gathering information and collecting money for Lara’s prison break, while still being a devoted father to their son Luke and effectively teaching his college students. From selling everything they own, to robbing an illegal drug lab, the film tries to show the lengths a man will go to for the woman he loves.

And while John firmly believes in the innocence of Lara, the audience, however, is left questioning her motives throughout.

The Next Three Days is a weird mix between the spy- thriller Salt and the emotional drama of Crash, while never really escaping the fact that its just an instructional video on how to break someone out of prison. Something we'd already seen in the TV series Prison Break. Russell Crowe does well with a meaty role, and is convincing as both an ordinary husband and father, and a conflicted man driven by unconditional love and desperation.

With a little more tweaking to the plot, The Next Three Days could have offered more than its original French version. Or maybe the remake should not have taken place at all. With this calibre of talent present, what's most disappointing about The Next Three Days is that it isn’t able to distinguish itself in the mystery-thriller genre.

A stellar cast with great dramatic acting that unfortunately falls between the cracks of a plot that fails to keep the movie together.
Read more on:    russell crowe  |  movies  |  review

bored_stiff 2011/01/24 4:38 PM
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i found it a good watch. i didn't find myself questioning Laura's motives. maybe it could've been better especially for its length but still, was enjoyable.
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