Russel Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, and more, star in this movie about a man whose family and world is flipped upside after his wife is arrested for murder. A murder which she says she did not commit. Written and directed by Paul Haggis (screenplay writer of Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Casino Royale, and In the Valley of Elah), The Next Three Days carries with it a blend of drama and action at a level that one familiar with Haggis’s work might come to expect. Almost “Eastwoodian” in character depth and development, this film is promoted as more of an action flick than it is. (At least during the first half). But Haggis ties the action with the story in such a seamless fashion that The Next Three Days might even be considered a lovechild born from all of his aforementioned films. The Next Three Days presents a story of a man who faces incredible odds and even greater impossible decisions in order to preserve/protect his family.
After a few quick scenes, this film very quickly introduces us to the Brennans: John, Lara, and their son Luke. The respective actors Crowe, Banks, and Ty Simpkins work very well at presenting themselves as a very tight-knit family unit that the audience is able to relate to and sympathize with quick, fast, and in a hurry. Their success in this is necessary for the audience due to the impending arrest that is made very early on in the film…as is seen in the trailer. A job well-done by all in this endeavor. The Next Three Days is quite the rollercoaster of a movie as it starts at a medium speed; takes off superfast; then slows during the middle and suspensefully builds up with a few loops, breathtaking flips, and turns; and then swiftly delivers the jaw-dropping, stomach-wrenching action scenes and twists that tend to linger until it all comes to a close.
The plot and the cast of this movie impeccably embodied their individual roles. Even the quick involvements of Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson added to the film instead of being too overbearing and distracting. (A Plus!!). In regards to the telling of the story, the viewer may have one or two gripes. For me, it was the level of luck the cops have in finding/chasing the Brennans after the escape as opposed to the level of luck they presumptuously then should have had in the initial investigation. This does cause a lack of believability to the story…..but does allow for the plausibility, then, of the ending. Something else I had hoped for was more resolution throughout the film in regards to the main question: Was she, or was she not, innocent? That question seems to hover throughout the film with doubts on both sides of the argument. Like I said….a rollercoaster. Don’t be too overconfident in thinking that you have this one all figured out until you finish the film.
I was not expecting the level of emotional involvement that the characters had. Nor was I expecting Crowe’s performance to be as solid as it was in this rugged, determined role. (Crowe is always great, but he played this part, as a semi-reluctant, yet determined lawbreaker flawlessly). The drama in the film does make for some slow parts, but is not unbearable. Even the craziest of rollercoasters slows down at some point, only to bring you greater thrills! John Brennan and his dedication to and relationship with his incarcerated wife seemed even more real and heart-touching than some people’s real-life relationships.
If you can’t already tell, I was thoroughly impressed by The Next Three Days! While it is longer than most films playing right now (2 hours…not 72!), it keeps you guessing and wondering all throughout. The Next Three Days ties in the importance of family, justice, love, dedication, and determination. A great flick. Far from cliche and predicatable. A job well done. Congratulations Crowe and company! The Next Three Days: The Shawshank Redemption meets The Fugitive meets Casino Royale!
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
–The Sp1der’s Score: Overall: 7.5 out of 10 stars “The Next Three Days”
up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”
I’d like to thank “The Dark Baron” for going with me to this movie!