The Next Three Days
(M) Roadshow DVD/BD
Russell Crowe plays John Brennan, whose life is turned upside down when his wife, Lara (Elizabeth Banks), is charged and then convicted of murdering her boss. Brennan and his son live through three years of agony as their grounds for appeal are exhausted one by one.
Desperation and despair inside and outside the jail leads to desperate measures, as Brennan uses the intellect that has so far been applied to teaching as a college professor to hatching an elaborate plan to break Lara out of jail and escape overseas.
The advice of a jail-break expert (Liam Neeson) gives Brennan vital information that he needs to set up this plan and make it work.
The preparations lead him into the seedy side of Pittsburgh in search of fake documents and money and he gets drawn into the violence and ruthlessness that is needed for his bold plan to succeed.
The Next Three Days is a rather intriguing study about faith and trust. What can and can’t we believe about our loved ones, no matter the evidence? How far would we go to act on that trust?
The film is also a good, old fashioned thriller. There are car chases, two different detectives on John’s trail even before he breaks Lara out of jail, and the intricate choreography of the escape itself, which unfolds at rapid pace.
The strength of the film is its willingness to leave some fundamental questions to the audience to resolve for itself — did Lara do it? Did John do the right thing? — and this makes the ending of the film all the more satisfying.
Dave Cornford is a Sydney-based writer, currently working on his own screenplay project.