The Next Three Days
John and Lara Brennan (Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks) are a white collar couple who enjoy argumentative flirting and the odd quickie in the back seat of their Prius. This marital bliss is interrupted, however, when Lara is convicted of bludgeoning her boss to death with a fire extinguisher. Dutiful hubby John remains convinced of her innocence despite the orgy of evidence to the contrary and proceeds to do all in his power to emancipate her, initially through court appeals, then using less kosher methods.
The Oscar pilfering Haggis, who writes and directs, doesn’t quite have his leading man baking files into cakes, but what unfolds is scarcely more plausible. A laborious thriller that lacks wit, intelligence, and, most unforgivably, thrills, The Next Three Days continues the steady decline of Crowe’s career. With his early electric performances (Romper Stomper, L.A. Confidential) fading memories and last year’s humourless turn as Robin Hood still fresh in the mind, the cantankerous Kiwi is morphing into this generation’s Kevin Costner. [Jamie Dunn]