The Next Three Days sees Russell Crowe play the dogged and determined husband who, following her apparently wrongful conviction for murder, obsessively attempts to get his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of jail - first by legal means, and then, when that fails (begin reading in gravelly-voiced trailer mode now) by any means necessary.
The problem with Big Russ is that you're surprised he even bothers with the legal means to begin with - surely he could just run full tilt at that prison and bust her out through a cartoon-Russ-shaped-hole in the wall?
A remake of the slightly bloodier 15 certificate French film Anything For Her, in which the lead was played by your more recognisably everyday-schlub type actor Vincent Lindon, for this film to work we need to be surprised that this ordinary schoolteacher can even conceive of going against the law to this extent, still less that he might have any chance of pulling off his audacious mission. With Big Russ in the picture, it's harder to feel suspense about the outcome, not especially through any fault of his acting but through the weight of certain hard-man roles with which he is associated.
Paul "Crash" Haggis provides a safe directorial pair of hands for the movie, but Oscar material it is not, and at two hours, it's at least half an hour too long.