Review – The Next Three Days

Hollywood is always asking us, ‘how far would you go to save a loved one?’ Most of us would give a left kidney, run a marathon or pay their cousin Sammys bail for the sixth time, but would you have the guts to break your partner out a prison? That’s the tough decision facing John Brennan (Russell Crowe) in ‘The Next Three Days’ after his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is sent to jail for a murder she didn’t commit. ‘The Next Three Days’ is a snappy little thriller that is anchored well by a very restrained and in control Russell Crowe that’s let down only by weak sub plotting and a bloated running time.

‘The Next Three Days’ succeeds because of Russell Crowe who anchors the film with a nice subtle performance as a family man pushed to the edge. Crowe gives his character a realness that could have easily been interpreted as just plain crazy by an actor without Crowes restraint and professionalism. Elizabeth Banks doesn’t match Crowe well enough in the acting stakes because they don’t have a good chemistry and at times her character comes across as selfish and not worthy of Crowes efforts to get her out of jail. Director/writer Paul Haggis (Crash) does a good job of building the tension and letting the story unfold at a nice pace.

Despite the nice pace at which the story unfolds the big problem with ‘The Next Three Days’ is that it’s too long, at just over two hours the film feels a little bloated and some bad sub plotting muddles up the film and doesn’t push the story forward. An example is a sub plot involving Olivia Wilde as a single mother that keeps crossing paths with Crowes character that could be a love interest. Scenes are spent establishing the relationship but in the long run it only serves as a minor plot point and could be cut out of the film entirely because it serves no purpose.

‘The Next Three Days’ is an enjoyable thriller that showcases a fine collaboration between Russell Crowe and Paul Haggis, I’d really like to see these two work together again in the near future. A warning to the fellas though, after seeing ‘The Next Three Days’ your partner will ask you if you would break them out of jail. Have a good answer ready to go…you’ve been warned.


The Popcorn Junkie