Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie review: The Next Three Days

We went to see "Tangled" this weekend. But with the Thanksgiving holiday crowd the lines were too long for a simple 15 minutes early to be enough. Luckily they had another movie that interested us.

Did you ever see the show "Prison Break"? Season 1 I mean. The good season. Before they were made to stretch the show into seasons beyond the original plan and storyline. "The Next Three Days" isn't that show. I got the feeling that with a different director, or even a different editor, the movie could have come a lot closer to the show.

Russell Crowe's wife is accused of murdering her boss and is sent to prison. After a few years they've exhausted the appeals process. Crowe starts planning a prison break. He spends months working on it. Learns the ins and out and whens, whys, and wherefores. Then his wife gets notice that she's being moved. Crowe has three days to pull off his plan.

You walk away from the movie with the feeling that it was well written. But then some themes and symbolism that were part of the original script got cut in rewrites. Certain bits that could have been more suspenseful and tense lost something in the way the film was put together. Watching the plan unfold could have made one a bit giddy and think Crowe's character was brilliant. But they just didn't quite shine like they should have.

That isn't to say the movie doesn't have some of those moments. Crowe tries out some of his ideas and they fail. Those scenes are tense. You want to slap Crowe and tell him to stop looking so nervous and guilty. And some scenes come back to something he was working on earlier that you forgot about. You make the link and you think "oh. nice." but not "OH! BRILLIANT!" Some parts of the plan come to light in the execution that the audience was never privy to in the planning process. They get a good "heh. Well done."

For the most part this is a movie that you enjoy most in the sitting back with a cigar and a brandy and some friends and going "mmm, ho ho, yes, well done that. Very clever."

Back to my original "Prison Break" comparison. The TV show the final bit of preparation, the crime, and the being thrown in jail. You watched the execution of the plan. In "The Next Three Days" you see everything else. The breakout is a very small part of the movie. It goes quickly from preparation to fleeing the cops.

I enjoyed the movie. But I won't be getting it on DVD. I recommend matinee prices.


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Sean Grey Hanson said...

I do like the half hour of the movie. It's quite suspenseful.