The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Next Three Days

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

In 2007, the French film Pour Elle (Anything for Her) was released, starring Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger in a wrongful-conviction prison-break movie. This film was successful.

How does Hollywood respond (because they absolutely must respond)? Call Russell Crowe and begin production!

The resulting film is called The Next Three Days. Crowe plays John Brennan, a college teacher married to Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks). After Lara is arrested and wrongfully convicted of murder, John has three days to break her out before they move her out of Pittsburgh.

Except that isn’t true. He actually has three years to do this. He just takes a very long time — at 122 minutes, most of which feel like hours, the film itself could take three days.

The Next Three Days tries hard to get audiences to sympathize with its lead character. Who wouldn’t love a community college teacher who, with only the instruction of seven-time convict Damon Pennington (Liam Neeson, who appears in only one scene), his Toyota Prius, his iPhone and instructional videos on YouTube about how to perform break-in procedures that the Mythbusters have disproved, must free his wrongfully convicted wife? Even the guy who forges passports for him is deaf.

The premise that these characters are generally good people is beaten in relentlessly and in the end makes the audience not like them as much.

After an hour and a half of this relentless beating, the film presents a coup de grace that makes absolutely no sense. Two detectives heretofore unseen are introduced, and the audience is expected to sympathize with them as much as with the Brennans, who are suddenly and inexplicably in a different car.

The audience does not sympathize with the detectives because they, along with the rest of the police force in this half-hour anti-climax, have no earthly idea what they’re doing. The film is supposed to be about an ordinary person doing extraordinary things, but it turns into an ordinary person making a huge mistake and getting away with it because of police incompetency.

The movie undermines itself at every turn. The unlikeliest of successes are the norm, Crowe and Banks are less than consistent and the phrase “starring Liam Neeson” will have fans of the actor fuming by the time they realize he had only four lines.

The entirety of the film is pervaded by an apparent lack of effort or care. Perhaps this is why they had the courage to pit it against Harry Potter.

Final Take: A desperate attempt from Hollywood to capitalize on the success of another premise

Those who would enjoy it: Russell Crowe fans, Liam Neeson haters

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