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  • Next
    • Next
    • Runtime:96 min
    • Release Date:2014-12-23 07:26:18
    • Director: Lee Tamahori
    • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Next
Auhtor:

   

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the DVD's special features they try to advertise it as an
Action/Adventure/SciFi/Romance. Usually the more genres you try to
squish together in one movie, the worse it gets because you never have
enough time to please all of the different fans of those genres.

So what is this film? It's none of those. This is a Nicolas Cage
vehicle. He's the main character – a guy with the gift (or curse) to be
able to see up-to 2 minutes ahead in his own future. As the story
continues there are some exceptions to this when it comes to his love
interest (played by the gorgeous Jessica Biel). When it comes to her,
he can see much further than 2 minutes. So add in a few problems like
terrorists planning to set off a nuke in LA for some unknown reason, a
tough-girl cop (played by Julianne Moore) who is intent on solving this
nuke problem by utilizing Cage's skills.

So as above, Nic Cage is the star and he's in almost every scene. As
mentioned on the discussion forum, his strange "skullet" hairstyle is a
bit offputting and in my mind, makes his whirlwind romance with Biel
all the more unlikely. But hey, it's SciFi right? The acting is OK.
Biel is too sexy. I can't rate her performance objectively. Cage is
Cage. he adds little quirks and mannerisms to all of his characters
hoping to make them interesting. Sometimes it works (like here)
sometimes it just makes him look too freaky to be believable. Moore
doesn't have much to work with other than being a cop who's obsessed
with using a "psychic magician" to solve issues of national security.

The plot kept me interested until near the end. There's a special
effects scene that is unintentionally too funny – I don't want to spoil
it for you. But after that the movie takes a nose dive. There's a big
climax followed by a horrible resolution that I won't spoil either. The
ending knocked my vote down one notch.

6/10 for the movie, +1 for Jessica Biel, -1 for the ending. So final
grade is 6/10.

|||

Philip K. Dick's short story "The Golden Man" becomes another
expensive, explosive, idiotic Hollywood action movie, without an
inventive idea anywhere. Ratty-haired Las Vegas lounge magician Nicolas
Cage is tapped by FBI agent Julianne Moore to aid in the search for
terrorists who plan to set off a nuclear weapon. Why? Because he is an
actual clairvoyant who can see two minutes into the future (how's that
for a novelty?). By showing the viewer different scenarios of a
particular situation (such as a lumbering one set around a fight in a
diner), director Lee Tamahori probably figured he was tinkering
cleverly with our expectations of the ultimate outcome. Unfortunately,
the central character as played by Cage isn't very charming or
interesting, so, instead of being suspenseful, the film merely tests
our patience. Cage keeps his overly-tanned face slack–like a blank
slate–and his movements nervous and jumpy; he admirably doesn't try to
sell this galumphing misfire as a character study, and yet he doesn't
do anything fresh (he simply coasts). Cage has been to Vegas on film
before, of course, and maybe needs a new venue in which to stretch his
acting muscles. "Next" is a dead-end for all concerned. * from ****

|||

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Here's the thing about the future," Nic Cage tells us at the beginning
of NEXT, "every time you look at it, it changes – because you looked at
it. And that changes everything else." Oh, so it's Heisenberg's
Uncertainty Principle. Only dumber.

Cage is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas mentalist who can see two minutes
into his future. (Did anyone see another Las Vegas movie in Nic Cage's
future? What are the odds?! How many does that make? Did anyone foresee
that his hairstyle would be a cross between Hanks's Vitruvian Man in
THE DA VINCI CODE and Gene Simmons?) FBI Agent Ferris (Julianne Moore)
is trying to forcefully enlist him in an FBI case involving
international espionage case and nukes. Annoying how she unequivocally
believes in his foresight power, which he has parlayed into a Las Vegas
magician act to stay undercover in plain sight.

NEXT is from a Phillip K. Dick novel, The Golden Man, so it is a
compelling, intriguing premise, but an uninvolving movie. Trouble with
any time-bending film is that you pull one little thread and the
cardigan unravels. There are so many dangling threads in NEXT that
we're soon entangled like a playful kitty in a ball of yarn.

When Cris stops a potential thief in a casino, the police think he was
the thief and chase him; he then "sees" his way through a complex
cat-and-mouse evasion of the police through the casino labyrinth – yet
he couldn't "see" how to avoid the police mistaking him for the thief
in the first place? To meet his "destined love" Liz (Jennifer Biel, who
displays not one whit of chemistry with Cage ), he foresees all the
options on how to best approach her. Which means he can't see into
"the" future, but into "possible" futures. And while he's thinking of
all these two-minute-into-the-future-scenarios, ten minutes have gone
by.

Hrmmm…

Every time we see an establishing aerial shot of Vegas, could we please
please puh-leeze stop with the source music, "A Little Less
Conversation (A Little More Action)"? Please. We get it. It's Elvis's
town.

Julianne Moore plays Tough Guy almost as badly as when she was pursuing
Hannibal Lecter. Something about her acting just makes my flesh crawl.

Ever noticed how a woman in charge always – ALWAYS- has a man sidekick
to bitchslap? Julianne's slappable bitch here is Troy Kittles.

Don't let me spoil it for you by revealing Patrick Duffy in the shower.

He can see the future, but he couldn't see he was going to make an
assface of himself by doing this movie.

|||

When you think about the future, it changes, because you thought about
it…or so says Nicholas Cage. This is mind boggling when you think
about it, and I'm not sure how it makes sense, but if you wanna
describe Next in one philosophical sentence, this quote would be a good
one.

This motion picture has a very nifty idea, for which credit should
probably go to Short story writer Phillip K. Dick for thinking about
it, but equal credit should go to Lee Tamahori for making it work on
screen. Of course, a nifty idea, is not always an intelligent one. Next
is quite silly and unbelievable, but perhaps that is part of what makes
it fun. The film is on a strange borderline between action thriller and
realist fantasy. The finished product works well enough, and provides
ninety plus minutes of reasonably solid entertainment.

Vegas magician Cris Johnson bases his act on his ability to see two
minutes into the future. This is something that has not gone unnoticed
by Federal agent Callie Ferris and her team, who are trying to track
him down in the hopes that he can use his ability help them stop a
terrorist a terrorist attack in Los Angeles. meanwhile, Cris is looking
for someone himself. There is a girl somewhere in town, and every time
she enters his mind, he can see more than two minutes into the future.
Time is ticking for everyone, and the future is uncertain….or is it.

What is a little aggravating about the plot is the way that we get the
impression that without Cris, the feds are useless at stopping the
forces of evil. That thought is a little scary, imagine national
security being so incompetent. Good thing that these things don't
happen in real life.

Nicholas Cage is famed for his over acting, which can be either an
advantage or a disadvantage. Here he is toned down a bit, which is
good, but it could just be the result of laziness (but who cares).
Julianne Moore even at fifty is still a pretty face who kicks ass well
here. Jessica Biel is also pretty face, but that's about it, she
doesn't have much of a role.

I suppose there is room for improvement, but I am not gonna complain.
The film is satisfactory in the end, and if you are not a tough critic,
I think I can recommend it.

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