Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Next Three Days DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Jailbreak Remake Starring Russell Crowe Comes to DVD

When Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) met her husband, John (Russell Crowe), and her in-laws for dinner after a particularly difficult day at work, she vented about a big argument she just had with her boss (Leslie Merrill). So, when the woman’s lifeless body was found bludgeoned to death later that evening, it didn’t take the police long to finger Lara as a disgruntled employee who might have gone postal.
And she was subsequently arrested as soon as the cops found her fingerprints on the murder weapon. Given the overwhelming evidence, Lara was easily convicted by a jury of her peers, since not even her lawyer (Daniel Stern) believed her alibi.
Facing the prospect of having to raise their young son (Ty Simpkins) alone while a wife he believes to be innocent rots behind bars, John Brennan is at his wit’s end. After all, he is convinced that Lara is incapable of having committed such a heinous act, even if the legal system has concluded otherwise.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Therefore, the ordinarily-law-abiding college professor consults an ex-con (Liam Neeson) who has broken out of jail seven times for advice about how to spring Lara. “Escaping is easy,” the wily felon warns. “The hard part is staying free.”
John heeds those wise words as he proceeds to hatch an elaborate plan, focusing as intently on the details of how the family will flee the country as on first liberating Lara. This is the intriguing storyline spun by The Next Three Days, an edge-of-the-seat morality play which builds in intensity every step of the way en route to an exciting conclusion.
Based on the French film Pour Elle, this worthy remake ratchets up the tension while posing a plethora of thought-provoking ethical questions. What makes the movie riveting is how it keeps you guessing not only about whether John’s scheme will succeed but about whether or not Lara is guilty or innocent.
For it’s almost impossible to tell if John is just too deep in denial to see the truth, or if we’re dealing with a miscarriage of justice. A high-octane thriller that plunges you headlong on a thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride where a desperate man’s conscience is your only guide.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence, profanity, sexuality, drug use and mature themes.
Running time: 133 Minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Cast moments, deleted and extended scenes, filmmakers’ commentary, “The Making of The Next Three Days” and a couple of other featurettes.

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