Possessing the extraordinary ability to see precisely two minutes into the future, the low-profile Las Vegas stage magician, Cris Johnson, has managed to keep his unusual skill under the radar. However, Johnson's rare talent has caught the attention of the tough counter-terrorism FBI agent, Callie Ferris, who intends to use the illusionist's unfailing charisma to thwart the murderous plans of a ruthless group of Russian terrorists. Now, a stolen nuclear device threatens to level California, as Cris' beautiful girlfriend, Liz, is being used by the criminals to gain added leverage. Can Cris save both the hostage and the city of Los Angeles with his peculiar gift?Written by
"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward."
Two minutes ago I foresaw my review of Next: It was not a pretty sight, so I revisited the film and wrote a more favorable review. But Next remains a mediocre thriller whose conceit is a protagonist who can see two minutes into the future. Not a bad idea from the great science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, but as a film it feels clichéd, slow, repetitive, and mostly not suspenseful. Perhaps that's because Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) sees what might happen and adjusts the present, thereby ironically sapping the surprise right out of the story.
FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) needs Johnson's services to stop a smuggled nuclear bomb from exploding in Southern California (I know, you think one has already exploded and left only zombies driving expensive autos). Jessica Biel as Liz exists to have a love interest for Cage and to give a reason why he is occasionally able to see further into the future than two minutes. Why Cage allows himself to act in so many mediocre movies (e.g., Wicker Man, World Trade Center, Weather Man) since his Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas is a mystery to me, although he is a producer of Next and an avid comics fan. I can't discount the power of the pocketbook.
High-speed car races and explosions occur as they always do in American thrillers although the FX is the poorest I have seen recently. The plot twist is so tacky that I rethought Perfect Stranger's and judged it genius. If I could have seen into the future before I wrote Stranger's review, I would have loved it. But seeing into the future for Next just didn't do it for meit's still a weak thriller better suited to Rod Serling's Twilight Zone half hour.
Memento you ask? Don't, because that film is such a great study of memory's trick's that Next shouldn't even be mentioned in the same review.
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