The Worst Two Hours: The Next Three Days is a chore to endure | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Screen » Film

The Worst Two Hours: The Next Three Days is a chore to endure

The Next Three days is an exercise in patience and tolerance. This meandering flick tells its story with painfully slow and uneventful scenes. I don’t mind a slow-paced movie but it, at the very least, must be engaging.

by

comment

The Next Three days is an exercise in patience and tolerance. This meandering flick tells its story with painfully slow and uneventful scenes. I don't mind a slow-paced movie but it, at the very least, must be engaging. This wannabe-angst-ridden think fest just blows it.

The official synopsis goes like this: John and Lara Brennan (Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks) have a happy little life until she is arrested from out of nowhere and convicted of murder. Three years later, while struggling with work and raising his son alone, John (an ordinary guy/community college teacher) is still trying to establish her innocence. When her final appeal is rejected, Lara becomes suicidal, forcing John to exercise the only supremely logical option he has left: break her out of prison.


Writer-director Paul Haggis (of the highly overrated Crash) adapted The Next Three Days from a 2008 French thriller, Pour Elle, and clearly has Alfred Hitchcock's wrong-man-in-wrong-place psychological profiling in mind, but has no idea how to convey it in an American movie. There's a cop chase, passport forgery, muggings, robbery, a traumatized kid, cliché cop lingo, lock picking, shooting, blood-trickling and a Prius traveling far too fast, but really we've seen everything exciting in the previews.

Despite the movie's faults, at least the actors emote their darndest. Banks has a vamp-like quality: she can look conniving one minute and innocent the next, which only adds to the "Did she or didn't she?" intrigue. Crowe carries John's conviction in his mournful eyes... a lot. Crowe always looks weighed down by worry and woe, and not just by all those sandwiches he must be shoveling down. Sadly, veteran actor Brian Dennehy has probably four lines. Liam Neeson's cameo is an interview that morphs into a how-to-escape-someone-from-prison lecture. And speaking of how tos... who knew that YouTube offered "Crime for Dummies" tutorials, from bump-key making to breaking into cars, but apparently there's no "rob a bank" video, so John resorts to ripping off a meth lab.

The Next Three Days' big finale takes forever to appear, only to then meander to an ending that is supposed to be tricky. However, so much dumb stuff was happening on screen that it didn't give me time to appreciate the few possible cool nuances there might've been. This flick tries hard to be compelling, but I spent most my time blinking to stay awake amidst the spattering of sad piano music. But the meanest trick of all was waiting through the long list of credits just to find out that Moby did most of the soundtrack.

The Next Three Days
★1/2✩✩✩
Starring Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Daniel Stern,
Brian Dennehy
Directed by Paul Haggis
Rated PG-13

Add a comment

More by Morgan P Salvo

Latest in Film