Action Movie Fanatix Review: Next

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If You Can See The Future, You Can Save It.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel

Director: Lee Tamahori

2007  |  96 Minutes  |  PG-13

“I don’t want you to die.” – Liz
It happened. It just hasn’t happened yet.” – Cris Johnson

I caught a little bit of Next on TV a while back and wanted to see the full thing.  I finally got around to giving it a chance and it would seem that the part I saw on TV was the best part of the whole ordeal.

Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage), a Las Vegas magician can see into the future.  Cris can only see a couple minutes into the future except for one image that he sees again and again.  The image is of a woman he has never met.  When Liz Cooper (Jessica Biel) finally walks into Cris’ life they are both thrust into a terrorist plot and FBI Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) is trying to track Cris down to use his skills to help stop the terrorists.

I feel like there is actually an interesting concept here.  Cris can see 2 minutes into his own future and yet must save an entire city.  The visual styling is fun to watch and it actually tricks you a few times when you think something happens but then realize we were only seeing one of the possible outcomes prior to Cris actually choosing his action.

In order to enjoy anything in this movie you will have to completely ignore some glaring flaws in logic.  It seems highly, HIGHLY unlikely that a guy who can only see two  minutes into his own future would be able to find a nuke in Las Angeles when the nuke has little to nothing to do with his own future (other than, of course, the fact that its explosion would explode him.)

Another example of this flawed logic is with Cris’ own belief system.  Every choice Cris makes changes his future but he still believes in fate.  He believes that for whatever reason he is meant to connect with Liz yet knows that there are a multitude of choices he could make to screw this all up.

The biggest flaw in logic is that a beautiful young woman like Jessica Biel could ever fall for a creepy old, long haired magician like Nic Cage.  Nothing against Nic Cage but come on.  He is eighteen years older than her and sports one of his worst hairdos in any movie he has been in. There is no chance that Cris’ corny lines and magic tricks would have attracted any woman much less someone like Jessica Biel.

There is one funny scene of Cris trying out all the different approach to talking to Jessica Biel’s character for the first time.  It shows him failing over and over before finally figuring out just what to say.  This is the only redeeming piece to their entire on screen relationship.

The dialogue and acting are pretty hokey and Cris’ lines will induce groans.

The fight scenes are actually pretty fun because Cris is constantly looking ahead to see where the punches are going to go so he is able to dodge every blow before striking back.  These are actually some of what I had caught on TV a while back that originally made me want to watch the whole thing.  It just so happens that they are also the best thing about Next.

Next is a blend of Nicolas Cage cheese, generic thrills and a little bit of originality when it comes to his “power”.  Unfortunately when it all comes together it doesn’t feel like anything special at all and the cheese outshines everything else.

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