Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Next Three Days (2010)

One Of The Films Of 2010 - 5/5
So I saw this film yesterday called The Next Three Days. You may have seen this on your DVD shelves recently but if you haven't basically it follows a desperate father attempting to break his innocent wife out of jail. Russell Crowe plays John Brennan, a school teacher left on his own when his wife (Elizabeth Banks) is put away for a murder that she didn't commit (by the way this isn't supposed to be a spoiler, it's just as much as you'll see on the back of the DVD). Now John Brennan provides Crowe with the opportunity to display a side to his acting that we rarely see. At the beginning we see his loving, playful side as he enjoys his time with his wife and his young son, played by Ty Simpkins. He actually plays the father figure extremely well and it felt good to see Crowe excelling outside of his comfort zone. Sure, later on in the film we see glimpses of the types of characters we normally see him playing, but I thought he was magnificent when he wasn't killing people.

Elizabeth Banks also stepped out of her comfort zone for her role as wife Lara Brennan. We don't really see that much from her but what we do see is her decent into suicidal tendencies after being in jail for so many years. She may play 'chick-flick' types characters often but she is certainly capable of giving a solid performance.

Back to the story, and what I liked about Crowe's character was that he was easy to relate to. Normally we see him as gun-toting action heroes but here Crowe was an ordinary dad living an ordinary life. I think the fact that he was so ordinary made the desperation in his performance so potent and effective. We see his journey
as he attempts a wild scheme to break his wife out of prison, with a little help from a cameod Liam Neeson, as well as trying to hold his family life together. What was good about the whole escaping prison scenes towards the end of the film was that they were not fully revealed to us before they happened. We were shown glimpses of his plans and were allowed to connect the dots as the scenes progressed. I also enjoyed the touches of the typical 'couple' arguments whilst they were escaping as they weren't done too often and were actually quite funny.

In a year of huge films such as Black Swan, The Fighter and The King's Speech it is easy to see why The Next Three Days was slightly overlooked. However, for the brilliance of Crowe's performance and the way the story unfolded I would have to say the film was one of my favourite 2010 films. It would appeal to a wide audience and I would say it is one not to be missed. Check it out!

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