Next Three Days is a Throwback Suspense Film

Next Three Days is a new film with Russel Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. It’s also written and directed by Paul Haggis who won Oscars for Crash (writer/director) and Million Dollar Baby (writer).

I really liked this film. Imagine your wife is wrongly imprisoned and your life just falls apart. That’s what happens here. Russell Crowe can’t handle it and decides he’s going to bust his wife out. He doesn’t know how but he’s going to do it. The movie does a good job of showing how he plots the job as well as how he has to change psychologically. Mentally, he has to do things he never thought possible. The film is a good look at how how a man can change given the right motivation.

Some people thought it had a dragging/slow middle half. I actually liked it as they showed Russell methodically going through each step. Haggis diliberately did this and in an interview he says.

that’s what the great films from the 40s through the 70s did; they took the time to invest in the characters and everyone when I was making this movie said, ‘Oh, it’s got to go fast. It’s got to go fast. Things have to happen.’ I said, ‘No they don’t. Sorry, it’s not the film we’re making.’ This is a film that’s going to get you to invest in these characters and care so when they run, you’re going to care that they’re running and when they jump into a car, you’re going to care that it starts and it’s not just one thriller after another that you sit back and go, ‘Oh, cool. Look at that CG.’ No, I want to be inside the character. I want you to sweat when this character’s sweating. So that’s what I was hoping to accomplish.

For me he definitely succeeded in this task. The end was one of the most nerve-racking 30 minutes of film I’ve seen in years. Because, as Haggis says, I knew the stakes and the characters, you really feel the suspense. I definitely recommend this film. 8 out of 10

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