To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity of a ruthless terrorist. But the plan backfires when the same criminal impersonates the cop with the same method.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Good Idea from Philip K. Dick Slips Away in the Script
Philip K. Dick has been the resource of stories for some very exciting films (Minority Report, Total Recall, Blade Runner), but in NEXT, his short story 'The Golden Man' as adapted by Gary Goldman and directed by Lee Tamahori, the concept of precognition as a human feature in altering the future falls into a video game format that becomes more action film and less human interest tale.
Cris Johnson AKA Frank Cadillac (Nicholas Cage) is a sloe eyed Las Vegas grungy magician who has found a way to hide the fact that he has the gift to see two minutes into his future, a gift that rewards him at the gambling tables but draws attention from the FBI after a thwarted attempt on Cris' part to stop a robbery is captured on video tape. The FBI, especially Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore), knows that a nuclear device has entered the USA by terrorists headed by 'Mr. Smith' (Thomas Kretschmann), and that if the device cannot be traced, a nuclear bomb threatens the lives of millions of citizens. Agent Callie observes Cris' talent and engages him to aid in the discovery of the site of the device. But Chris' powers lead him to a beautiful young woman Liz (Jessica Biel) with whom his powers to see into the future can be extended for more than the requisite 2 minutes. After a series of 'attempts' at introduction, Cris and Liz bond, allowing Cris' expanded powers to be of more help to the persistent Agent Callie. From that point on the film dissolves into yet another combustible crashing action flick with endless CG special effects, all but erasing the character development. And the ending is as one might expect - not very Philip K. Dick in style.
Cage and Biel do well, Moore seems bored with her character, and Kretschman yet again embodies the evil of terrorism and beyond. There are some rather extraneous scenes on an Indian reservation that add little except the beauty of the Grand Canyon to the story, and there are some truly funny scenes of themes and variations on the chances we take in approaching a potential love source. But in the end all gets rather lost in the explosions ad infinitum that mark the film as a routine action flick. Grady Harp
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