The Next Three Days

This well-orchestrated crime caper succeeds NEARLY everywhere. Russell Crowe plays his teacher/family man character nicely, with a realistic degree of uncertainty and fear as he comes to grips with the perilous choices he must make to carry out his plan to spring his murder-accused wife from the ‘pokey’. The initial chemistry between Crowe and Elizabeth Banks is surprisingly refreshing, with a convincing under-current of playful banter which gives additional ‘gravity’ to the emotional core of his ballsy decisions and dangerous actions in pursuit of his goal. With regards to Crowe’s character arc, it was nice to see his tense awkwardness as he puts his complex plan into action, with a couple harsh lessons being learned along the way. He’s a man who only JUST manages to keep his head above it all while always in danger of slipping below the surface of the turbulent situation he creates. And he also manages to maintain his ‘humanity’ as things progress, which I appreciated as it helped garner sympathy for his plight. It was also nice to see cop characters that aren’t morons; being competent and determined as they nip at the fugitives heels nearly every step of the way. There were a couple scenes and character decisions that seemed to have suffered in the editing room as I found them somewhat jarring but still not enough to bring the overall movie down. The gorgeous Olivia Wilde is utterly wasted here in a thankless, near ‘throw away’ role, as is veteran actor Brian Dennehy. Liam Neeson turns up in a cool cameo that acts as a pivotal catalyst to the plot along with a few other familiar faces scattered throughout. It’s a little long but overall it’s a satisfying ‘watch’.

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