Friday, 19 August 2022

The Next 365 Days (Movie Review)

All good things come in threes. Or in the case of the 365 Days trilogy on Netflix, they at least come to an end. That is indeed the promise of The Next 365 Days, the third and hopefully final film in the series of erotic thrillers. Whether or not you've been eagerly anticipating this conclusion, you've got to admire the filmmakers for sticking with the same tired formula over the course of three movies. But does the new film manage to salvage what is left of its worn-out premise, or does it further succumb to the laws of diminishing returns?

Much like the previous films in the series, The Next 365 Days centers on the evolving relationship between our two leads, Massimo and Laura. For those keeping track, the latter had been shot at the end of the last film and the new film's opening moments lean heavily into that cliffhanger ending, with Massimo shown mourning the loss of someone at their graveside. The scene is juxtaposed against another showing a meeting between the two rival crime families established in the prior films, as Massimo promises bloody retribution should his rivals continue their push to encroach into his family's territory.

Laura only manages to stay dead for all of five minutes though, before it is revealed that she is once again miraculously alive and well on her way to full recovery from her bullet wound. But the events of the last film had taken an emotional toll, and it is immediately clear that she is still harboring feelings for Nacho, aka Massimo 2.0, despite his allegiance to the rival crime family. So as you can imagine, this puts an even greater strain on her relationship with Massimo, thus setting the stage for the film's central conflict.

All of that is of course just set dressing, because the filmmakers clearly know what their target audience wants. So you can expect even more steamy sex scenes with very little bearing on the film's overall plot, all of which are set to generic pop music from artists no one has heard of. This is all familiar territory at this point, as we've pretty much all come to know what to expect with these lowbrow erotic movies. So anyone going into The Next 365 Days expecting anything other than what is given only has themself to blame.

That said, the fact that something has already established itself as being mediocre by design doesn't then excuse its further descent into mediocrity. And The Next 365 Days certainly feels like a new all-time low for the series with its poor dialogue, acting, story, and lack of direction. Its biggest crime in my opinion, however, is an overriding feeling of saminess. You can only watch so many sweeping slow-mo shots of lavish interiors and beautiful locales before the whole thing starts to blur together. At least the last film tried to shake things up with the introduction of a love triangle and some truly meme-worthy dialogue.

But this one can't help but feel lazy or like a downgrade by comparison, like the writers have simply run out of ideas and the cast and crew are merely going through the motions of churning out another film through mere obligation. The film meanders for most of its runtime, clumsily stumbling from one sex scene to another along the way. I realize that some of that might come directly from the source material itself but also believe it is the filmmaker's job to have a tighter script. And just like the larger film trilogy, this one stretches what little actual story it has to tell too thin and suffers as a result. 

I could think of a few choice words to try to convey just how bad The Next 365 Days is, but trust me when I say none of them will do the film justice. Its failure to respect the viewer's time makes it extremely difficult to recommend to anyone, except those that are already committed to finding out how the story ends. Even then, you'd be better served by waiting to read a plot summary on Wikipedia instead because there is very little satisfaction to be had here. The one silver lining I guess is the fact that they've finally run out of source material to adapt, this being based on the last one in the book trilogy. So hopefully this is the last we are going to see of Massimo and Laura and their questionable love for one another.

4 comments:

  1. Being a film critic sounds fun--until I remember you have to watch movies like this.

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    1. Lol. You got that right. This one was a complete chore to get through.

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  2. Could not agree more, not only a dissappontment but total waste of time.

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    1. Lol. Yep. I'd never been happier to see the credits start to roll. 😁

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