The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Cheap Seats: 'The Next Three Days' tries too hard and falls flat

2 min read

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Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks star in “The Next Three Days,” a thriller that is anything but thrilling.

The writer and director, Paul Haggis, clearly has it in him to create fantastic films, having “Million Dollar Baby,” “Crash,” and “Casino Royale” to his credit.
Perhaps the movie just didn’t translate well from the lesser-known French original “Pour Elle” (“Anything for Her”).

Crowe and Banks play a happily married couple whose world is turned upside down after she is convicted of murder and sentenced to hard time in prison.
After three years of failed attempts to free his wife through the legal system, Crowe decides to take matters into his own hands.

You have to hand it to Russell Crowe, even when he is in an obviously in a sinking ship of a movie, he still commits himself fully to the role.

Even when his character’s dialogue and actions are unrealistic (which is a problem with the writing, not Crowe himself) he’s at least believable.

Maybe it was the three years without seeing her family, or a mirror for that matter (apparently they don’t let you touch up your highlights behind bars), but Banks’ character just comes off as morose and whiny.

She is not her usual charming self, but rather a sad lump, that doesn’t even make you wonder, or care, whether she is guilty or not.

“The Next Three Days” is hard to classify: it is part drama, but no one cares; it’s part thriller, but only a handful of scenes are exciting; it’s on the verge of action/adventure, but the car chase fizzles out and they just get off at the next exit.

The direction of this film would have benefited if it didn’t try to be so clever with its flashbacks and out-of-sequence teaser opening, and just focused on the family and the lengths one will go to for their loved ones.

And without giving anything away, the ending was pretty illogical and left me completely unsatisfied.

Seriously, if you’re going to remake a movie, make sure it trumps the original, or else what’s the point?

Save your two hours and your dollar this weekend, and skip “The Next Three Days.”