Review - The Next Three Days

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Review - The Next Three Days

Post by Darkwing on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:56 pm

The Next Three Days
Starring
Russel Crowe
Elizabeth Banks


Introduction
This is a surprisingly well down movie that poses some interesting questions mainly revolving around “do two wrongs make a right?” as well as pitting normal people in tight situations in which they have to ask themselves that question and find out just how far they are willing and capable of going.

Acting
Russel Crowe and Elizabeth Banks deliver two very riveting performances in which the characters feel legitimate and for the most part, believable. Most of the movie focuses on Russel Crowe’s character after three years of trying to prove his wife is innocent of a murder, decides to break her free from jail.
Crowe delivers an excellent performance that has you both feeling for the character, yet sometimes questioning if what he’s decided to do is right. He plays a very convincing father/husband who is a teacher making him for the most part a very “ordinary” person. However he is put through situations in which the amount of forethought and cleverness makes him an almost dangerous “criminal” of sorts. The only real problem I have with it is when Crowe’s character does eventually use a gun, his shots are very precise and for a character who’d never shot a gun before, he holds it very steadily and as I said, precisely. Other than that, his character is almost always convincing and there are very believable emotions portrayed by Russel Crowe.
Elizabeth Banks doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but she pulls off a performance that instantly makes you connect with her, like her and then suddenly believe her innocence, even though whether she is or not isn’t determined until the very end. Regardless of her innocence, it is nearly irrelevant to the movie and all that matters is that she is a loving mother and wife who just wanted to live her life until it was torn apart. She displays a full range of emotions making her a very human character, one that the audience is able to easily connect with. What makes this impressive is that for most of the movie, it’s from the confines of jail, from short sessions where she gets to see her husband and kid and with the restrictions of prisons, manages to makes us feel very sympathetic towards her and her plight, but also it makes Crowe’s character more human as well. This is one of those movies that one performances aids the other and if it were to falter, would collapse the entire movie. Fortunately, this does not happen in this film.

Cinematography
The directing in this movie is for the most part well done. There are some interesting shots, mainly when Crowe’s character is scouting out the location and has to be secretive about it. However, there isn’t too much that stands out as memorable shots that will stick with you for the rest of your life and it uses the ever popular hand held technique, though original at the time has become somewhat banal by now.
Along the same note, there is nothing overly notable about the editing, though there were very few mistakes that really popped out on this front, so overall, it was fairly solid.
The score was composed by Danny Elfman and as usual is quite well done. Though not one of his more stand out scores (such as Alice in Wonderland) it is a very interesting sound that almost makes the film seem like a supernatural thriller (which it is not) but it fits the emotion and the action that is portrayed in the movie and helps hold it together as any good score should.
If anything that truly stands out in this movie, it would have to be the lighting. There is a full range of lighting rigs used in this movie, each one adding to the emotion and scenery of the movie. Though nothing quite as memorable as a film noir, most films today seem to avoid using the lighting to their full advantage so it is a refreshing change to see a movie use interesting lighting to help set the mood.

Story
In essence, a simple idea that continually spirals in complexity right up until the very end of the movie. This keeps the audience on their toes, wondering what will happen next and when each situation does present itself, how far will the characters go. This makes it a very engaging film and makes it stand out above most prison break films. It is a well crafted story with a well thought out plan that takes everything into account. This makes it a film with twists and turns (especially as it nears its climax) and again deals with that question of how far will we go for something we love and something we believe? The story overall is gripping yet natural and though it may not have your nails biting into the couch, it will keep you engaged and captivated throughout.

Conclusion
A well done film that blends real people, real scenarios and movie action together. It is obvious there was much thought put into the movie (despite a few continuity errors) especially with regards to the characters and story which makes this a movie worth watching.

8/10

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Darkwing
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