Movie: Next (PG-13)
Released: April 27th, 2007
Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min.
Ticket Price: $7.00 Matinee
Refreshments: Swedish Fish
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jessica Biel and Julianne Moore
Directors: Lee Tamahori
Rating: Worth a Rental –
Synopsis: An FBI agent tracks a lowly Las Vegas magician with the power to see his future, in hopes that he can help prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.
Review: Next is an actioner based on the Philip K. Dick story, The Golden Man. He has written many science fiction stories that have been made into very good movies like Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report. Next, however, won’t be added to that list. It is closer in quality to another film based on one of Dick’s stories, Paycheck.
Next stars Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider, National Treasure) as Cris Johnson, a man who can peek into the future, but only his and only about two minutes ahead. This comes in handy for his job as an off the strip lounge magician and playing blackjack for a few extra bucks. Until one day he gets a glimpse of a woman entering a coffee shop that is outside his normal two-minute limit. He has to find out why he can see farther than he ever could before. Seeing that, Liz played by the beautiful Jessica Biel (The Illusionist, Stealth) is the woman in question, that may not be his only reason.
Julianne Moore (Freedomland, The Forgotten) plays an FBI agent that thinks Cris could be the key to stopping a nuclear attack using his unique ability. She sets out to track him down and get him to help save possibly millions of people. He is not interested and a chase ensues.
Next is trying to take an interesting premise and create one of those sci-fi thrillers where the audience is left to guess what reality you are in. Is what you are seeing really happening, or is he seeing the future. You don’t know. The science fiction angle is appealing, but it doesn’t quite make the grade in the thriller department.
What you end up with is an action flick with some sci-fi elements and few thrills. Other than the cool factor of having a guy that can see the next couple of minutes telling you what to do during a fire fight, you have seen these action sequences before.
While it is amazing what they can do with CGI these days, it is also amazing how awful they can be sometimes. A good CGI effect makes your brain believe what you’re seeing, in the context of the movie, even though you know it’s fake. A bad CGI effect takes you out of the moment because it is so obviously a fake. Next mostly falls in the latter category.
If this is the next film on your list of things to see, you might want to wait for the rental. Just pretend as if I have looked into the future for you and this is your best result.
Have you seen Next? What did you think of it?