Nicholas Cage has been living out some of his fantasy roles via his production company Saturn Films, however some feel his material is starting to lag in interest. So, was Next his next flop, or his next hit?
Next was directed by Lee Tamahori and stars Nicholas Cage, Jessica Biel, and Julianne Moore. Cage plays a Vegas magician with the ability to see two minutes into his own future, and Moore is the FBI agent looking to use that ability to stop a nuclear catastrophe. Cage’s character also meets up with a woman, played by Biel, who for some reason changes his ability to where he can see farther and her future as well. The story is somewhat based off of the novel “The Golden Man” by Phillip K. Dick.
Cage does a fine job of acting, tip-top quirky Cage form, however , his hair for the film is long and hideous; not a good fit for his face. Biel and Moore are both fine in their roles as well.
The film starts out interestingly enough, though it doesn’t take long for all sense of logic to be thrown out the window. The premise seemed very promising, yet the story ends up too lite and with more holes than swiss cheese. The ability to see into the future is a tricky concept to work into film, just look back at all of the Back to the Future mistakes. (Why in part 3 were Marty’s great ancestors also his mom and dad? This would indicate a chain of fateful incest.) Next fails to pull it off flawlessly with people timing their actions to avoid Cage’s two minute future window. However, if he is always two minutes ahead, then he would just eventually catch up to their actions, immediately after the two minutes prior to it. The film does not try to explain the complex aspects of the ability in full detail and thus it is forgivable to see such errors and still find entertainment. It is meant to be quick, fun entertainment. I was able to keep the Dvd running and finish the entire thing.
Quick is exactly how the film goes by, clocking in at just over an hour and a half, there is a small romance developed within it and plenty of action, however, considering the gravity of the situation presented and the interesting premise of the characters, this sci-fi adventure needed more. I was not demanding more at the end because I was having so much fun, I was demanding more because I needed more depth and for the fun to actually begin. Next I thought, what comes next? I know it is going to pull through. Sadly, and not to ruin it for you, yes CAUTION SPOILER: it ends with one of those “it was all a dream” sort of scenarios. It felt like a rip off not to have an ending, not to have the day saved, and to have had the entire last section of the film that was full of action to end up having been nothing but a vision.
Next is not the worst film, but its not one I would worry about being next on any must see list; if you have Netflix or Blockbuster, sure put it in the que, but no rush.. There was so much more that could have been done with the concept.