Writer: Syahida Kamarudin
Overall: 4.5 Out of 5
Cast: 4.5 Out of 5
Plot: 4.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Con Air”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Pour Elle”
Are you one of those people who stay at home to watch Scofield planning his escape in "Prison Break"? Do you watch "I Almost Got Away with It" on Discovery Channel and secretly rooting for the convicts to dodge all police roadblocks and arrive safely in Mexico? Or the biggest question of all, are you strong enough to watch nothing else but Russell Crowe's melancholic face for two hours?
There's a reason why Frenchman Fred Cavaye's 2007 movie gets a remake. "The Next Three Days" is all that and much more. Paul Haggis' ("Crash", "Million Dollar Baby") Hollywood take has the "je ne sais quoi" that all other prison-break shows lacked. Slow it may be at first, it genuinely attracts the audience to observe every scene and character, gradually building itself to make you fall so much in love with the characters.
No, this is not all-action, adrenaline movie. Unlike "Shawshank Redemption" (1994) or "Escape From Alcatraz" (1979), it is a story of a desperate man seeking desperate measures in order to unite his family. Don Quixote-esque essence becomes the centre of the plot - a hero rescuing the damsel in distress and goes against every single rule that victimise her in her first place. The twist is that the hero is just your average Joe.
Russell Crowe's character John Brennan is not all gung-ho like Jean Claude Van Damme in "Double Team" (1997) nor is he a long haired macho man in jeans like Nicholas Cage in "Con Air" (1997). As a literature teacher at a community college, he is the kind of man who will puke in nervousness. Russell 'I-have-lost-my-Gladiator-body' Crowe plays Brennan to a T and basically owns the whole movie. Other than that, it is also refreshing to see Elizabeth Banks in something else than chick flicks and evil woman characters she is well-known for.
"The Next Three Days" is heartening, poignant, at times nerve-wrecking (especially when you realise there are too many DIY videos for aspiring thieves on the Internet) yet able to keep you at the edge of your seat. Forget the fact that the hours are a bit too long. If the movie was shorter, it would not achieve its goal - to make your wife weep and scold you for not being as chivalric as Brennan.
Cinema Online, 23 November 2010