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If Paul Haggis in in charge of a movie, I think it’s no exaggeration to expect something substantial, something  edgy, something worth spending two hours with. He is responsible for Crash, after all, as well as for the splendid script for the Clint Eastwood masterpiece “Million Dollar Baby”. He knows a good story, and he knows how to build and execute it.

Or so it seemed.

“The Next Three Days” is actually a bit embarrassing. The starting point is fair enough, even though it is by no means original:  wife accused of murder, husband seeks to get her out. First by legal means, then by any. Of course problems start with casting, because nobody can take Russell Crowe serious as a city college teacher, and nobody who starts to believe he is a college teacher follows the transition to urban McGyver-Rambo-Fugitive. This character is just utterly inconsistent und ridiculous. As I have seen Crowe try to play serious for the umpteenth time now, and have never seen anything good come out of the effort, I suggest: stick with GladiaHoods, that suits you better, mate!

As he is so dominant and his character is so off, there is hardly anything to say about the rest of the film – apart maybe from me not even caring about whether the wife actually committed the crime she is incarcerated for. She indicates at one point she did it, and the film is kind enough to give some (again: utterly ridiculous) “evidence” at the very end that she did not, but at that point, most of the few people in the cinema audience did not bother. Oh yes: and the opposing detective is odd, too, as he is build up to be the Fugitive-Tommy Lee Jones, but then is almost completely absent throughout the film.

An extremely strange mix of professionally designed mainstream elements, put together in the most ill-conceived fashion.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/next_three_days/

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