||There are some movies
that are such an utter waste of time that they hardly deserve a review
at all. And then there are others that are so bad that one
almost has to shout it to the rafters about what a complete
train wreck it is.
First you have creepy, hair-plugged Nicolas Cage, who is actually
pretty well cast as a cheesy Vegas magician. Granted, Vegas seems
to be his thing what with Leaving
Las Vegas, Honeymoon
In Vegas, Con
Air (crashes a plane on the Vegas Strip). And while he may be
in Vegas and drinks a bit, this movie is nothing like those three.
This is yet another movie adaptation of a Philip
K. Dick sci-fi mind fuck book, and done right could have been
a doosy. Unfortunately anything involving Cage and an untrained director
these days turns into an overblown farce. And so goes Next.
The one positive is that we have the blindingly
hot Jessica Biel to look at for 90 minutes. The bad part is that
we get to watch an overly plastic looking over-actor pursue her
for those same 90 minutes. Now, making time on a girl 20 years your
junior isn't new for the movies (see Rear
Window if you really want to get the dad/daughter heebie jeebies),
but for some reason having to believe Biel would ever be interested
in Cage is the most unbelievable thing in a movie filled with stupendous
So, high concept here (as are most Dick concepts),
Cage is a hack magician who claims he can read minds. Thing is,
he's actually really good at it, but he's not really reading minds.
He can see two minutes into the future, which is in essence if you
give it enough time, like reading someone's mind--or seeing the
future. So he plays it off as some sort of parlor trick, which along
with his lackluster stage presence cements him as a hack. He then
goes and uses his power sparingly in the casino to earn walking
And then one day he's standing at the chip counter
in the casino and has a vision of a guy robbing the place. And who
sidles up next to him but the guy! He foils the robbery and thus
begins an adventure in nonsense.
And the nonsense revolves around the FBI having a need for Cage’s
ability to chase down a loose nuke that’s going to be detonated
sometime in the near future by some faceless terrorist organization.
The plotholes here are big enough to drive a garbage truck through.
Regardless, Cage is resistant to helping the FBI due to childhood
trauma of being used and tested because of his ability, as well
as the fact even he realizes that seeing a detonation two minutes
before it happens is pretty much useless. I used to think Julianne
Moore could act, but as the stiff and completely ineffectual lead
FBI agent chasing Cage she proves me wrong big time. Mix in the
fact the bad guys (presumably the same terrorists looking to inexplicably
set off a nuke) are following the FBI who are following Cage and
you got yourself an “action” movie. Meanwhile there’s
this whole side plot involving Biel where Cage can (confusingly
and again inexplicably) see anything involving way more than two
minutes into the future. He takes this as a sign that he needs to
meet her, so he sits in a diner every day waiting for her to show
up. Totally random. And, of course, he eventually does meet her
and involve her in his whole misadventure. And then we have to watch
them do it. Yuck.
This whole shitshow is wrapped up with an awful St. Elsewhere ending
that essentially invalidates all 95 minutes that came before it.
At least it mercilessly comes to end. [On Demand]