The Next Three Days Reviews
This morning however is different. The day after Lara has a very public argument with her boss, their usual quiet is disturbed as police burst through the door and arrest Lara under suspicion of murdering her boss.
With blood stains on her coat, her fingerprints on the murder weapon, an eye witness who saw her leaving the scene and a potential motive, the open and shut case condemns Lara to a 20 year sentence. Blindly believing in his wife's innocence, John exhausts all legal options fighting the injustice of her incarceration.
With no appeal options left, little savings and no time before her out-of-state transfer, John takes the only viable option. By creating his own moral code and living in a reality of his own choosing John decides to orchestrate his wife's daring escape.
Mapping out what he needs in order to put his plan in practise, John reaches out to the underworld. Starting with ex-crim and nine time successful prison escapee Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson), who gives him the most important thing to remember "Escaping is easy; staying free is the hard part."
Quickly finding himself out of his depth and entangled in the darker side of humanity, John's devotion for his estranged wife might not be enough to overcome the emotional, moral and physical hurdles in his way and power him through this race against time.
A faithful retelling of 2008 original French version 'Pour Elle' (Anything for her); except for the grim Pittsburgh location and obvious tilts towards Hollywood sensibilities, The Next Three Days is a tension filled drama turned action/thriller story about how actions often speak louder than words.
Driving around town in the family Prius, Russell Crowe keeps it simple and believable in this softer everyman style character. Youngsters Tyler and Toby Green deliver a grounded sensibility to the film as his emotionally scarred son. Elizabeth Banks however somewhat misses the mark as a blonde-desperate-housewife reject turned hardened criminal; her hair may change but after three years in jail her attitude is still too gentle.
Although identical in construction and execution to the original, like most remakes, this version fails to rise above the formula. Picking at the obvious holes, the notable lack of chemistry between Crowe and Banks dispels the intended illusion of an unconditional devotion.
Emphasizing the wrong tone; poor musical choices lessen the tension and the inclusion of some unnecessary scenes hinders pacing to the point where the film drags out to a painfully overlong 133 minutes.
The Verdict: Intriguing but still frustrating, you walk out of the theatre not dissatisfied as such but perhaps expecting more.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 11/02/2011