“Next” is one of those movies that you watch, then you go home, go to bed, and you fall asleep. Then you wake up, you have breakfast, you go to work, and someone asks you what you did the night before.
“Oh, I went to the movies,” you say after a brief pause by the coffee machine.
“Cool, what did you see?”
Again you pause and stare at the back wall momentarily.
“Oh yeah, what was it about?”
Now there is a very long pause. You would like to answer. You would love to tell your colleague about the car chases, the explosions, the absolute excitement. But you can´t, because you have forgotten.
“Um, it´s about this guy who can see into the future,” and you go back to your computer and your coffee and you wish your colleague would stop asking awkward questions.
“Next” is the new film from New Zealand director Lee Tamahori (“Once Were Warriors – Die Letzte Kriegerin” , “James Bond; Die Another Day – Stirb An Einem Anderen Tag”). It stars Nicolas Cage as Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician with a twist – he can see two minutes into the future. However, it is not just his audience that is spellbound with his abilities. FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) is interested too. A terrorist group plans to launch a nuclear attack on Los Angeles, and the FBI needs Johnson to pinpoint exactly where the weapon of mass destruction is hidden. But Cris Johnson has his sights set on a mysterious girl he has seen in a vision, a girl who may hold the key to his destiny.
The film is based on a short story called The Golden Man by Philip K Dick. The script was penned by Gary Goldman (writer of Steven Spielberg´s 2002 movie, Minority Report, also based on a Philip K Dick story). It has all the elements of a brilliant science fiction/action movie – corny dialogue, over-dramatic music, and extremely bad blue screen effects. The story is easily followed, and the explosions and car chases are entertaining if you like being entertained by explosions and car chases (and let´s face it, who doesn´t?).
Nicolas Cage plays the perfect dopey looking hero. Every movie he is in sees his expression looking more bewildered, his eyes looking more uncomprehending, and it has almost got to the point where you suspect someone has to wipe the dribble from his chin after each shot. And it seems Julianne Moore may have watched too many episodes of The X Files to get into her character. Her straight-faced FBI banter looks more farcical than serious.
But “Next” is a great way of escaping real life for a while. The plot twists are not really fresh, but they do take you by surprise. So go and see it. Then go to bed and go to sleep. And call in sick the next day, otherwise your colleagues are just going to annoy you.