Next Three Days: My Review

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It’s not a bad movie after all. I didn’t realize it at climax when the scenes seem to be over dramatic. But when the picture fades to end, I feel somewhat satisfied.

Next Three Days, a Crime Drama directed by Paul Haggis, is another movie break for Russel Crowe. Some years following his blockbusters Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, Next Three Days is something that an average moviegoer can get some morals out of it; qualities of a family man should have, and what a trustworthy husband and a good father should do in times of trials.

However the scenes are not so convincing; the time right before the climax seems to be dragging. And there is a puzzle that you have to engage and put all together at the ending.

Next Three Days, which stars Russell Crowe (John Brennan) and Elizabeth Banks (Lara Brennan), is a story about a happy family who meets a terrible surprise when Laura Brennan, John’s wife, is arrested with murder. A once happy family can’t cope up with the separation, much more to their six year old son.

It begins when a day after the couple’s night’s out, cops break in to their house to arrest Lara Brennan for murder. Lara has been sent to prison and once a perfect family now caught up living a miserable life. The couple has to deal with the tragedy of being separated from each other, and the reality of Lara being not able to spend time with her six year old son.

When Crowe, an English teacher in a community college, begins to lose hope of having the case appealed to the Supreme Court, he plans to rescue her wife from prison. He meets a former seasoned escapee from prison and provides him valuable information about how to escape. John undergoes a heavy research on the Net like how to do some break-ins and how to make specialized keys to open locked doors.

When I was watching it, especially at the middle of the story, I already knew that Laura was innocent; otherwise the movie won’t make any sense at all. If John is planning to escape her wife who is undeniably guilty and live happily ever after, there would be no moral at all.

But an occasional moviegoer would force to believe that Lara is indeed the murderer because of some scenes shown at the start of the movie. At the first murder scene, there is no character Point of View, wherein Lara bumps into a woman, then goes the victim being hammered by a fire extinguisher. Laura holds the murder weapon, gets in the car, and drives away.

As the story continues  almost all the characters seem to believe that Laura actually did the crime, and only John who doesn’t believe it. A reputation being questioned by the viewer whether or not John is out of his mind or Laura is a woman out of control.

According to Roger Ebert, a distinguished film critic, the movie is somewhat cheating, specifically the murder scene at the beginning. Robert wrote in his review on Chicago Sun-Times that that particular scene should have at least a character’s Point of View, meaning there should be one person who actually saw it, a witness perhaps. But that scene was shown in the movie in a way to let the viewers set their minds what actually took place on the crime, that Lara did actually commit the murder, then change it at the ending.

To me perhaps the first murder scene is presented in third person omniscient. It is shown the way what the court believes according to evidence of the case. The way as seen in the eyes of the prosecutors and in the eyes of those who believe Lara’s guilt.

You will discover at the end of the movie what actually happened on the murder, which Lara wasn’t the one who did it but the woman she bumped into. The murder weapon Lara carries at the parking lot—which has her fingerprints on it–was left at her car’s front tire, the reason she carries it and drops to some place so he can drive her car away for the night out with her husband. And the blood on her coat actually come from the murderer’s hands she bumped into. It’s a truth that can’t be proven in court.

The movie could have been more exciting if there was more action. Also, Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks could have performed better if the characters they portrayed had engaged in more intense scenes. Though it’s not a bad movie. I give this 7 out of 10 possible points.


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