The Next Three Days (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner05/01/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 122 mins

Watchable remake of French thriller Anything For Her (Pour Elle) enlivened by strong performances from Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks, though it's not quite as gripping or as emotionally engaging as the original film and loses points for being half an hour longer.

What's it all about?
Directed by Paul Haggis, The Next Three Days is a remake of French thriller Anything For Her (Pour Elle), which was unreleased in the US. Russell Crowe stars as Pittsburgh schoolteacher John Brennan, whose life falls apart when his beloved wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is arrested for murder, leaving him to raise their young son Luke (Ty Simpkins) on his own.

After three years, John has exhausted every available legal appeal and when Lara attempts suicide he decides that the only possible solution is for him to break her out of jail. But how far will he go to save her?

The Good
Crowe is excellent (if not as good as Vincent Lindon, star of the original), delivering a fairly decent everyman performance with just a hint of action hero, which slightly backfires, because you're aware that, schoolteacher or not, he can probably handle himself in a fight. Banks is equally good (if not as good as Diane Kruger), while there's strong support from Olivia Wilde, who cements her upcoming sex symbol status by injecting oodles of chemistry into her relatively small part as a smoking hot fellow parent.

For the most part, the script sticks closely to the original film and Haggis orchestrates several decent suspense scenes, including a superfluous (though admittedly well paced and fun), tacked-on chase sequence.

The Bad
Exciting bonus chase sequence or no, there's really no excuse for a remake to be almost 30 minutes longer than the original film and the extended ending ultimately slows the pace of the film as Haggis drags out the finale. The film has other problems too, such as reducing Liam Neeson's part (as a serial prison escapee-turned-author who offers prison break advice) to a single scene cameo, despite the fact that the publicity makes it look like he's a co-star.

However, the biggest problem is that The Next Three Days lacks the emotional impact of Anything For Her - ironically, the extra chase sequences turn it into more of a conventional action thriller rather than focusing on the characters.

Worth seeing?
The Next Three Days is an entertaining, watchable Hollywood remake but it's nowhere near as good as the original film. Rent Anything For Her instead.

Film Trailer

The Next Three Days (12A)
The Next Three Days has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 01:02

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