83 minutes – Comedy-Drama
Release date: March 28, 2014
Canadian distributor: Entertainment One
Jack Petty sits in an airport bar, nursing a drink. He’s on a stopover halfway to Havana on a routine business trip. Also in the bar is a sexy lady who chats him up, giving him travel tips and whispering something scary in his ear. He’ll meet her again, in the midst of a conspiracy that includes assassination, kidnapping and more. This film has a lot of tradition behind it: some major Hitchcock (particularly Strangers on a Train and The 39 Steps); the wised-up dialogue of old film noir; and the gritty detail and sharp plot twists of contemporary thrillers. It’s all put across with high spirits, and the cast is stellar playing roles as diverse as a slick member of the Canadian Consulate to a ruthless mob boss, and many other colourful characters, none of them trustworthy and most of them with their sights set on poor Jack. He’ll have to outwit, outrun or outfight them all—a tall order for a mere businessman on a conference trip. But he’s surprisingly cool under pressure. The fun here comes not just from the close shaves and slick repartee but from the knowledge, quickly acquired, that nothing is what it seems in this Canada-Cuba co-production. Three Days in Havana screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival in September 2013.