Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Next Three Days [2010]

Director: Paul Haggis
Cast: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Brian Dennehy, Jason Beghe, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson (Cameo)
Genre: Drama/Thriller
Rating: General
Comment: "Not bad at all, although the movie does feel like it's three days long..."

Before I proceed with the review, note that Russell Crowe is ranked #1 on FPBM! Favourite Actors, earning the number one spot as far back as 2009 when the first (and so far the only) Spotlight segment. Therefore it would be suffice to say that even I would conclude that this movie would be forgettable had it not been for Russell Crowe being in the lead role.

It has been three years since the day when John Brennan and his family found their lives turned upside down, after a member was accused of murder; his wife, Lara. After he exhausted every means to prove her innocence, he finally realised that going according to the law does not always provide justice in the end. With that realisation, he decided to do the unthinkable. He decided to break her out of prison.

Now, I am not going to lie to you. The trailer might have given the impression that this is a fast-paced movie about a thrilling jailbreak. The truth is, it is anything but that. If anything, the movie moves at a crawl before springing into life in the final twenty minutes, give or take.

It's hard to take away point from it because of that, because I understand that the meticulous planning and dragging out certain scenes were meant to give the movie some context. Namely, to make us root for the protagonist after seeing his dedication to free his wife, and the kind of suffering he had to endure due to that. All the same, it was a bit of an overkill.

Now, the movie has no shortage of talent, with memorable performances by Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. In fact, it wouldn't be too much to say that the movie rests a little too heavily on the two lead actors. Even though both of them are an absolute pleasure to watch, I can't say I feel the same way about the movie as a whole. Veteran actors like Brian Dennehy and Liam Neeson also made their appearances, although the script probably didn't allow them enough space to fully exercise their talents.

Despite not being a bad movie altogether, I'm afraid this is one of those movies that you will forget about as soon as you leave the cinema. It might get you all curious though; this movie is actually a remake of a French movie entitled Pour Elle [2008], I wonder if the Hollywood version did justice to it.

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- A good idea to begin with
- Memorable performances
- Russell Crowe!

The Bad [-40]
- Excruciatingly slow
- Underused talents

100 - 40 = 60 points

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