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Las Vegas showroom magician Cris Johnson has a secret which torments him: he can see a few minutes into the future. Sick of the examinations he underwent as a child and the interest of the government and medical establishment in his power, he lies low under an assumed name in Vegas, performing cheap tricks and living off small-time gambling "winnings." But when a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles, government agent Callie Ferris must use all her wiles to capture Cris and convince him to help her stop the cataclysm. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Good. Not cheesy, Not overblown. Just pretty darn good.
Cris Johnson has the ability to see 2 minutes into his own future. He works a low-level magic act in Las Vegas with this secret ability and also makes money gambling. However, an FBI Agent sees his uncanny ability to foresee the immediate future and tries to get him to foil a terrorist plot.
The basic plot outline above isn't wholly exciting and can initially smell of outdated Cold War plot lines. And seeing that it is in the hands of Hollywood in the form of big budget action vehicle it will definitely turn many viewers off. The recent highly contrived sci-fi action movie "Deja Vu" is also another potential unfair strike against this movie. But, be clear of doubt, this film is actually good and it succeeds in being intriguing and not cheesy at the same time - completely unlike the "Deja Vu." "Next" leaves a lot to the audience's imagination and certain things are there just for you to accept on the basis that this is a movie - no lengthy pseudo-science speeches here. The movie also makes very good use of computer effects - there aren't many and the few that there are, aren't awful looking like director Lee Tamahori's last feature "XXX: The State of the Union." Johnson's clairvoyance is shown in a clever way and the story takes several nice turns. There is the stock Hollywood romantic angle here, but cheesiness is mercifully spared as it is not over done, but actually played out humorously in certain scenes.
Then the kicker is the ending, which I dare not give away, and it is a real breath of fresh air. It leaves you a lot to think about and that ultimately ends this film with, not a bang which many people might expect from a big-budget action-fest. No, definitely not a bang, but a hum. That hum will stay with you for a while after you finish watching as you think about what happened and what may still happen. --- 8/10
Rated PG-13 for violence
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