Sometimes, ya just have to let a few things slide and enjoy the ride. That’s how I feel about The Next Three Days. All in all, it’s a satisfying action flick that pushes the boundaries of believability but skillfully avoids the nasty trap of predictability. It’s a crime drama and psychological thriller wrapped in a bit of a romance – without the overt heaviness and brutality of the critically-acclaimed, recently-released heist movie The Town.
Russell Crowe plays John Brennan, a college professor and family man whose life is torn apart when his wife (Elizabeth Banks) is sentenced to life in prison for a murder that Brennan is convinced she did not commit. When her appeals are exhausted and she attempts suicide, Brennan embarks on an elaborate plan to break her out of prison. He enlists the help of Liam Neeson, who makes an all-too-brief cameo appearance as an ex-con who professes to hold the blueprint to any successful prison break. Beyond that, the less you know, the more you’ll be able to appreciate the twists and turns, even if they are a bit implausible.
The whole cast is solid, but the movie (from writer/director Paul Haggis) rests squarely on the shoulders of Russell Crowe who tends to be hit or miss for me. I definitely liked him in this one. He’s very watchable as an ordinary guy who goes to extraordinary lengths to save his wife and his family – but may be risking it all for nothing. In short, The Next Three Days is a good, smart action movie/psychological thriller that isn’t riddled with gratuitous sex, violence and drugs. Let’s hope that doesn’t sink it at the box office. Unless, of course, you go for that sorta thing. In which case – never mind. 🙂