Title: The Next Three Days
Director: Paul Haggis
Script: Paul Haggis, Fred Cavayť
Starring: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Jason Beghe
Music: Danny Elfman
Released: May 2011
Length: 122 minutes
It’s not overtly evident from the film but The Next Three Days is based on the French film ‘Pour Elle’.
Russell Crowe is the mild mannered, but resolute, College lecturer John Brennan whose life is destroyed when his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is imprisoned for murder of her boss. Did she do it? We don’t find out right away and have to worry about the outcome of this particular question for most of the film. Do we side with a potential murderer? We’ve not given much in the way of evidence either for or against her innocence. What is clearly however is that her husband is going to be able to break her out of prison. Well of course he is, he’s Russell Crowe and he’s got Liam Neeson giving him insider advice! He puts together an elaborate escape plan and it’s a good thriller and quite gripping, even if it is a bit daft.
The pace and the direction are good and the script is mostly good apart from the odd daft bit. Crowe and Banks are good in their roles. Crowe is good at portraying a meek professor but also is believable as a bit of a tough nut as well. Banks has less to do in her role but is still impressive.
Overall the film was interesting and enjoyable. There were some interesting techniques (such as how to make a bump key to open locked doors and how to break into a locked car with no more than a tennis ball with a hole in it and the right amount of pressure) that Crowe’s character learns in order to help him free his wife from prison, some work well, some not so well but his transformation from a law abiding citizen to a criminal (however justified) is compelling viewing.
The Next Three Days is an enjoyable film that is well written and nicely directed. It’s fluid and quite sleek and its two hour running time fly by quickly. It’s well worth a watch.