Sunday, November 21, 2010

You won’t think about this for The Next Three Days by William Kunz

          The Next Three Days is your typical run of the mill pre-winter action film. Russell Crowe, a veteran Oscar winning actor, has resorted to taking less edgy roles in reward for a bigger pay-day. The Next Three Days is a prime example of Crowe’s fall from greatness. Along side Russell Crowe is Elizabeth Banks from the comedy genre, who is definitely out of her comfort zone in this drama. Liam Nelson who also decided a long time ago to sell his talent for money shows up for a scene to drop his mysterious voice into the film. Besides that we have a mix of “B list” actors including Olivia Wilde of “House Md” and Jason Beghe who has had various bit parts throughout the years. Wrap all of them into a cheesy plot and out comes The Next Three Days.
          The film starts off with an odd sequence showing a bloodied Russell Crowe with a man dying in the back of his car. The film quickly cuts to what I thought would be the title, but to my surprise it said The First Three Years and for a second I felt as if I wondered into the wrong film. The film then cuts to an enraged fight, which involves Russell’s wife getting into a fight with another couple. The next morning Elizabeth Banks character is seen being arrested for murder. All of this takes place in front of Crowe’s and Banks precious but annoying child who seems to cry the entire film. Soon the film cuts three years later where Russell Crowe has exhausted all his options. Crowe’s lawyers have abandoned his case and he has no money to bring the case to the Supreme Court. After going to the local library and reading a few books he decides the most logical plan is of all things, a prison break! This leads to an hour of overly boring and stupid scenes showing Russell Crowe attempting to get money and ideas to break his wife out of county jail that could have easily been displayed in a simple montage. The only reason I could see them wanting to do this is because of a single random scene that involves Liam Nelson. Nelson shows up to tell Russell Crowe all the useful things he has to do- like how much time he needs to escape the city and that he needs a metaphorical key to break his wife out. Ultimately the scene was boring and pointless, with the only interesting aspect being Nelson getting third billing.
         The film decides to put logic and realism aside for the purposes of action, and I feel as if the film suffers because of it. For one, why is his Crowe’s wife in county jail for three years on a murder conviction? Once the conviction would have been handed down she would have gone to the state penitentiary regardless of her appeal process. Also the plot device known as Liam Nelson, knows everything Crowe needs, why would he help somebody for a little bit of money? That’s called accessory before the fact! And why would a tired Nelson risk going back to jail after escaping prison seven times? It’s little things like this that drags the film down.
         Anyway, enough complaints where were we? Ah, right after the initial boring hour of lead up! Crowe’s character eventually figures out how to best the system which the film takes time to explain and then Crowe takes out his “carefully” laid out plan to new extremes. Most of it just seems fake and out right unbelievable. The ambiguous ending would have worked much better and instead destroyed the mystery element of the film entirely. This really hindered the film as a whole, and brought about yet another disappointing aspect.
          Overall, the film was probably thirty minutes too long and really felt like there was too much filler. The movie moved along at a decent pace and just built up for the last forty-five minutes where they make the classic “run for it.” The chemistry between Crowe and Banks didn’t work great and GM obviously paid a large sum to show off their cars in this particular film. Basically this is a great film to see if you didn’t pay, and or got it by way of rental.

Rating: (meh) 2.5

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