Russell Crowe! Phew. I actually enjoyed his performance! I have been seriously put off Russell Crowe lately, possibly all down to the woeful, horrible, and frankly utter shite that was Robin Hood…I think he has just earned himself another chance!
The Next Three Days is a proper old-school edge of your seat race against time thriller. This reminded me how I felt watching some of the classics from the 80s and 90s where a bomb needed finding and dismantling, or a bus had to keep going otherwise it would blow up, or a maverick businessman would ignore the demands of people who had captured his family and save the day himself. It’s one of those!
I’m not going to hold back here – sometimes I just love these big budget, pack out the seats and give them a thrill movies and I don’t care what anyone else makes of it. Sometimes this is what film is for, pure escapism of the ask-no-questions variety. I loved Taken. I loved Minority Report, Die Hard, Mission Impossible, Con Air, Face Off, The Client…The Next Three Days is one of those.
I’ll be honest. This is not a stunningly good movie. It is one I could sit down and pull apart with some ease. But why should I? It was a fun watch. I was excited in the places it wanted me to be, I was nervous in the right moments, and I knew whose side I was on at all times.
So, well done to Crash director Paul Haggis, you entertained me. The Next Three Days won’t win any awards and it is unlikely to be a massive selling Christmas DVD, but it is great reminder of fun, exciting, escapist filmmaking. And Russell Crowe doesn’t suck in it; he’s actually pretty decent.
Oh yea, the plot…sorry, almost forgot! Crowe is a teacher whose wife is convicted of murder leaving him to care for their young son. Convinced of her innocence and with the judicial system failing them, he decides the only way for them to move on with their lives is to break his wife - the ever-beautiful Elizabeth Banks - out of jail and escape as a family. Seeking advice from a former escapee (Liam Neeson) he spends the first two thirds of the film plotting the escape…leading to a nail-biting conclusion.