‘The Next Three Days’ is full of agonizing details
Wed, Nov 17, 2010 (6:25 p.m.)
Paul Haggis achieved Oscar gold by being very, very serious with his 2004 film Crash, but even making what should be a lean, exciting thriller, he’s insistent on tedious solemnity. The Next Three Days is about a college professor (Russell Crowe) who transforms himself into a master criminal when his wife (Elizabeth Banks) is sent to prison for a murder she didn’t commit. When her chances for appeal are exhausted, he decides the only option is to break her out. Once the movie finally gets around to the prison break, it manages about half an hour of genuine suspense, but before that there’s more than an hour of Crowe’s John torturing himself over the choices he has to make, with Haggis spelling out each moral dilemma in agonizing detail. At least Crash was heavy-handed about important issues; Days takes what should be a rousing thriller and turns it into a plodding bore.