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‘Last Three Days’ review: Love story hampered by sci fi tropes

Too much going on or not enough?

Last Three Days is not specifically a time loop film, but it may appeal to fans of the genre. Jack (Robert Palmer Watkins) is an undercover cop who has been attempting to take down a large crime syndicate. His partner has the same thing in mind, but is something of a loose cannon. Instead, Jack wakes up to find his wife, partner, and the last three days of his life are missing. 

It is an interesting premise that has been used to varying degrees of success over the years. One thing that can keep these types of movies from being successful is tone. Since the story moves around so much, it is hard to establish one. Last Three Days does not have the same repetitive nature or hopping around as similar movies, but it never quiet sets a tone.

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Things starts off with a long introduction to how Jack and his wife Beth (Deborah Lee Smith) met. This is filled with appropriately melodramatic music. Last Three Days then fast forwards a few years to the young couple in a strained marriage. The movie is more invested in building a troubled relationship. This will throw audiences off since it is marketed more as a science fiction mystery. Building characters is necessary, but it almost seems out of place here.

This seems to suggest that once Last Three Days shifts direction, it will make Jack’s search that much more meaningful. It never quite works out that way. This is partially due to pacing. There is very little rising action during the film’s first act. The entire focus is on the strained relationship. However, there is little that is actually happening. In a movie that is not even an hour and a half this is very noticeable.

Once the mystery does kick in, things still move at a methodical pace. This in and of itself is not a problem, but it prevents Last Three Days from having the sense of urgency it should have. The movie seems more concerned with hitting necessary story beats than developing organically. It is less about clues being discovered by Jack as it is formulaic plot points being given to the audience.

Though the storytelling is flawed, Last Three Days does a great job of getting across the love Jack and Beth feel for each other. The opening montage is cliché but effective. As the plot progresses, the love between the two can be seen. The science fiction aspects ended up holding back what could have been a very serviceable romantic tale.

Last Three Days comes to theaters and VOD November 13th.

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