The Next 3 Days: A Picture of Justice?

Posted: October 7, 2013 by jperritt in Action, Drama, Thriller
Tags: , , , ,

next_three_daysThe other day I said that I wanted to write a follow-up post for The Next 3 Days.  Well, here it is [SPOILERS AHEAD].

Another interesting theme running through this film is ‘justice’.  Lara Brennan [Elizabeth Banks] is accused of murder and sentenced to life in prison.  As her husband, John, pursues her release to no avail, he then resorts to breaking his wife out of prison.  Since the justice system has failed him, he decides to take justice into his own hands.  Even though I previously mentioned that much of what Brennan did was commendable, you could also argue that much of what he does is equally idolatrous, obsession.

As the tagline of the film stats, lose who you are to save who you love. Without much persuasion, one could easily argue that Brennan loses who he is and even goes to the brink of insanity to save his wife. But, is justice served?  A few things to consider:

Murder is Murder

In Brennan’s pursuit to save his wife he kills one man and possibly indirectly kills others.  The one he kills would be labeled as a “low-life” of society.  Some may say, Yeah, he killed that guy but he was a meth dealer.  Or, He killed that guy, but I would kill to save my wife.  Listen, murder is murder whether they are a low-life or not.  Yes, you may be able to claim that Brennan was using self-defense, but he got himself into a dangerous situation that led to his defending of himself.  What Brennan did was murder, which made him guilty in the pursuit of his wife’s innocence.

Injustice is Part of Life

We don’t find out to the end of the film that Lara actually was innocent, but John needs to accept the fact that injustice is a normal part of an abnormal world [to borrow a phrase from Stephanie Hubach]. This world is sinful; therefore, injustice is a natural part of life.  As difficult as that may be, we still must accept it.  Instead, John Brennan put many others in danger, assaulted a police officer and fled from authorities.  No human has the right to take justice into their own hands, no matter how right they may be.  His love for his wife turned truly selfish when he put the cares of others out of his mind.

Justice Was Never Truly Served

The film ends with the Brennan family (wife and all) united as they fled the United States (irony).  The audience can somewhat take a breath at this point (and a much-needed breath at that), but the film doesn’t end well if you truly think about it.  In the end, the criminal gets away.  Not only does Russell Crowe flee justice and is never apprehended, the criminal who actually committed the crime Lara was accused of is never found.  That criminal murdered someone and will, most likely, live the rest of her life never paying the penalty for her crime. Plus, what about the family of the police officer John Brennan assaulted?  What about the car drivers who got into a wreck as Brennan recklessly sped through the streets of Pittsburgh?  What about the character of Nicole [Olivia Wilde] feeling used by Brennan?  There was so much injustice created by a fallen man’s idea of justice.  But isn’t this always the case?  We often try to fix what’s broken on this earth, only to make it worse.  And this is what points us to Christ.  Injustice will continue no matter how individuals or governments promise otherwise. But, this should make us long for the day when Christ returns to make all things new.  On that day every tear will be wiped away and justice will reign for all time.

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