Knowing What's Next
"Next" is not the first movie I have watched which revolves around the idea of someone being able to see into the future and unfortunately it shares a flaw with many of those movies. That flaw is the simple fact it cheats, laws set out early on as to the capabilities of seeing in to the future are thrown by the wayside and by doing so the intelligence is lost. And that is a shame because "Next" opens in a promising, exciting style only then to fail by not only playing with the rules but by becoming side tracked with a romantic storyline which gets too much attention.
As a child Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage - Ghost Rider) discovered he had the strange ability to see two minutes into his own future, but after years of scientific tests has gone off the radar, using his talent in a low key Las Vegas magic act where he supplements his income on the gambling tables. But the FBI lead by Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore - Far from Heaven) have tracked him down and need his help because a group of terrorists are planning to set of a Nuclear bomb somewhere in Los Angeles.
"Next" opens in such a promising style, we not only enter the world of Cris where he covers up his talent by using it in a cheesy magic act but then uses it in the casinos. It leads to a spectacular escape as casino security suspect him of cheating somehow and we watch as he ducks and dives his way past security knowing there every move before they do. It is fun, slick and stylish and culminates in a nice car chase, a bit of stylish action with a train before we get Cris finally escaping.
But then after this slick opening "Next" quickly goes down hill because whilst we still have the aspect of the FBI after Cris as well as the terrorists the storyline becomes side tracked by a premonition Cris has of meeting Liz. Now not only does this firstly bend the rules as this premonition is one which happens more than 2 minutes in advance the whole movie becomes focused on Cris trying to woo Liz. It's sort of fun especially as he plays out various chat up lines before seeing one which should work but it goes on far too long.
Unfortunately that is not the worst of it because after what seems an absolute age we then get back to the actual story of the FBI wanting Cris's help to stop a terrorist attack. But this is where the movie cheats because that two minute rule is broken time and again and so anything can happen and it doesn't matter. Not only that we discover another facet of Cris's powers in fact many facets and it turn what was almost an intelligent action movie into a joke. But just when you think it can't break the rules anymore it does so in a spectacularly bad way which frankly is a complete and utter cop out.
What does this mean well the best part of the movie is about the opening 15 minutes which is slick, stylish and amusing but from then on it just gets worse and worse. And unfortunately so do the performances because Nicolas Cage goes from delivering an interesting character to one which is flat and boring. Jessica Biel goes from intelligent love interest Liz into nothing more than an eye candy in a towel and Julianne Moore has such an under written character it is a total waste of her talents.
What this all boils down to is that "Next" starts in such a promising way that it grabs your attention but then by the time it is over it has lost it and leaves you feeling cheated as one rule after another is broken.