‘THE NEXT THREE DAYS’ (2011)

February 6, 2013 10 Comments

This thing we call “life” can throw us some curveballs. It tests us and in some situations, breaks us. The revolving idea of this asks how far a person would be willing to go to be sure those you love aren’t ever hurt. Would we work within the law or go to an extreme to have our family whole again? This film explores the latter idea in a harsh reality.

The Next Three Days (2011) Film Review

It’s happiness the makes the Brennan’s suburban life work. Every morning, Lara takes a snapshot of her family as her husband smiles to appease his wife’s silly tradition. But then fate intervenes and Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is accused of murdering her boss. The case against her seems solid. The evidence shoes she argues with her boss, is witnessed leaving the scene, and her fingerprints are on the murder weapon. It’s enough for detectives to arrest her the following morning, and file charges. Still she claims innocence.

‘THE NEXT THREE DAYS’ (2011). A man tires to find a way for his wife to be released from jail after her murder conviction. Review + content guide. Text © Rissi JC

It’s a claim her husband, John (Russell Crowe) never second guesses. With such an overwhelming case against her, the jury convicts her of murder. Three years later, John faithfully stands by his wife yet appeals are to no avail. His final request is denied which shatters Lara’s confidence. Her devastation leads to drastic measures and a confession to her husband that she did murder the woman.

Doubt. It’s such a small word but one with a lot of power. If a movie has a good plot, it can go a long way. In The Next Three Days, there is. If it does have a larger failing, it doesn’t use its plot to its best advantage. Opening is a scene that takes place later in the film which sets us off balance, and the movie suffers from being little overlong. It’d be more satisfying for the planning to take forefront rather than the mundane existence. Nevertheless, the whole suspense of the end result is fabulous. There’s also a lot of focus on the couple’s young son (Ty Simpkins) whose struggles is devastating.  

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This one has a good cast, including Liam Neeson (in a one-time scene), Olivia Wilde and its director/writer is no stranger to filmmaking. (He’s penned such movies as Quantum of Solace and the Academy-Award nominated Million Dollar Baby.) You question all of the characters’ motives and the truth behind them. Banks has just a glint of sinister potential so as to make us wonder. On the one hand, everyone is likable, but it’s a little difficult to fully “like” John.

As human beings, we can sympathize with all he goes through and want him to have his family whole. But his ultimate plan, if it fails would leave his son without anyone. He’s warned about having to leave a child behind, and the audience feels the horror of this. How could a parent consider such a thing? Do the ends justify the means? I don’t think so. Distraught over his wife’s injustices notwithstanding John’s primary us his son. By the end, the movie is a decent if not an impractical way to spend the evening. The script raises some interesting questions, but the length it goes too isn’t morally “right.”

Standing by someone is admirable, but in John’s situation there has to be a line that should not be crossed. Putting his love into action isn’t right in this scenario. One cannot doubt John’s love for his wife, but I have to ask if the same is true for his son.

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You can find The Next Three Days digitally on Amazon Video

Content: there is one more intense gun fire exchange; two men die another shoots a getaway car, plus a home is set ablaze. One man contemplates robbing a bank, and later thieves from a bunch of drug dealers. [He is beaten earlier and robbed.] Twice,
a woman attempts suicide; the first we are not privy too, the second she attempts to throw herself from the car with an eighteen-wheeler barreling down on her. There is some sensual foreplay between a married couple; it’s suggested they have a brief tryst in the car. That same conversation includes an innuendo or two. [Lara cracks a joke about the no “conjugal” rule on visiting day.] Women wear low-cut blouses. One blurred but clear F-word [and there may be one other, too] is in place plus several abuses of deity. Common-place profanity is the normal for other inappropriate dialogue. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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10 Comments

  • Charity February 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I saw this for the first time about a week ago and for what it is, it does it well — it's a thriller through and through; if I were a fingernail chewer, I wouldn't have had any left by the end. In that regard, it's terrific. But OH MY GOSH, I wanted to slap his wife for her antics. JUST GET IN THE STUPID CAR AND STOP RISKING EVERYONE'S LIFE.

    • Rissi February 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      From my memory, it lagged a few times during the "set up" of the plot, and in that, I wished it had been "better." However, yes, it was quite good! Most the time, I wanted to slap both of them! They needed to re-think their entire strategy. :D

    • Charity February 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      I agree that you should always think about how stuff will impact your kids, but… a marriage is about two people, not three. Husband/Wife come first. That doesn't mean busting her out of jail was the right thing to do, but I understand why he did it — and if it was me, I'd hope my husband would do the same. So I don't know that I agree with you on that count. But yeah, the second half is intense. =)

    • Rissi February 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      No problem! I don't mind at all, Charity; glad you shared your opinion. It's just in this scenario, I have a problem with John's desire to free his wife. I understand it but think that as the "only" parent left to raise his son, he should have thought it thought more thoroughly about the consequences.

      But then… there wouldn't have been a movie! Yikes, come to think of it, that would have been boring. ;)

    • Charity February 8, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Heh, imagine the movie then — John gives up midway through, and raises his kid somewhere alone. YAWN. =D

    • Rissi February 9, 2013 at 12:42 am

      That is one boring script. ;D

  • Gwendolyn Gage February 7, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Sounds like a good, intense movie! I can't imagine having a loved one ripped away from me and thrown into prison. Thanks for the review, Rissi.

    • Rissi February 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      That is unfathomable! You've got that right, Gwendolyn.

      This was a bit "intense" but also didn't pace itself well so it's not as impacting until the climax.

  • birdienl February 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I don't think this is a movie I'm going to watch (I'm not a big action fan), but I could totally see Elizabeth Banks in such a type of role, she seems the right actress for it.

    • Rissi February 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Elizabeth plays this role great! She keeps the audience guessing the entire time.

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