and sometimes poetry

The Next Three Days (2010) | Review by Mark Leidner

The Next Three Days stars Russell Crowe as a guy trying to break his wife out of jail. His wife is played by Elizabeth Banks, who was even hotter all dressed down in her prison jumpsuit, and who was also convincing as a woman whose life was taken from her and whose cause is hopeless. This movie taught me several important lessons. Or rather, it reinforced lessons I have already learned, but which bear reinforcement. They are that no matter how wonderful your life is, it can all be taken away from you in an instant, and in fact it probably will be at some point. It is how you face the ensuing despair that defines who you are. Russell Crowe’s character fails several times throughout the movie while he tries to scale the extremely steep learning curve from cute, chubby community college  professor to brutally calculating, almost emotionless action hero required by the plot. Does he give up though? What if halfway through your own life you find out the next half of your life is going to resemble in no way the previous half. You face two options. Battle impossible odds, or settle in for a long life full of regret and longing.


Go see this movie if you like thrillers. It was in no way as bad as Rottentomatoes said it was. Never trust Rottentomatoes. Or rather, trust it completely but know how to read the tomatometer. If an action movie receives a low score for implausibility, ignore it. Implausibility is the backbone of action. Maybe even of life itself. Beauty is certainly implausible. But Russell Crowe carries it, and so does Elizabeth Banks. If you’re in the mood to be transported, then check your rational mind at the door and enjoy. I thought of several jokes after seeing this movie, but I can’t remember any of them. A final thought about the impossible, and the importance of holding on, at least in your heart, to a wild ideal. The greatest casting decision of all time could occur if they ever did a remake of Murder She Wrote and got Russell Crowe to play Angela Lansbury. I don’t expect this to happen but I refuse to stop imagining it.

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