The Next Three Days **

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“The Next Three Days” is almost a really good movie until it totally unravels in the third act.  The story involves a junior college professor whose life is turned upside down when his wife is arrested and charged with murder and found guilty.  Faced with big legal bills, failing appeals and his own depression, he begins to hatch a plan to bust her out of prison.

Russell Crowe plays John Brennan and Elizabeth Banks plays his wife whom he is trying to break out of the penitentiary.  He begins by trying to obtain fake passports in the wrong end of town, learning the hard way not to push certain people too far.  There is another close call when he attempts to open a locked door with a key he learned how to alter from the internet while visiting his wife.  Thanks to a limited amount of video surveillance, he isn’t put behind bars.

The movie is directed by Paul Haggis, who gave us “Crash” and “In The Valley Of Elah”, both of which were great films.  Here he has us involved right from the opening scene.  The movie is thought provoking, well acted and engaging until the third act when it completely comes apart. 

When John actually puts his plan in motion, he goes from a confused and depressed husband to a man of action.  I found it hard to believe he is capable of getting in to a gun fight with drug dealers, then being able to hold up armed guards in order to get his wife out.  From there we get some chases on foot and in vehicles. Then there is a tacked on ending where the cops figure out what actually happened on the night of the murder.

The film is well made but jumps the realm of far fetched and becomes a pure fantasy by the time it is over.

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