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Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel join forces to bring you the heart-pounding thriller that is Next. Cris Johnson (Cage) earns his living in a seedy Las Vegas magic act, but his ability to see a few minutes into the future is authentic. Government agent Callie Ferris (Oscar nominee Moore) knows this, and relentlessly recruits him to help thwart a terrorist group from detonating a nuclear bomb in the heart of Los Angeles. Will the reluctant hero join the desperate race against the clock by daring to see what is Next? Featuring non-stop action, explosive special effects and adrenaline-charged Special Features, this is an exciting adventure you won't want to miss!
Making The Best Next Thing
The Next "Grand Idea"
Two Minutes In The Future With Jessica Biel
Visualizing The Next Move
The weirdness of actor Nicolas Cage and the weirdness of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick seem like a natural fit. The premise, taken from a short story by Dick, is a good one: A mediocre Las Vegas magician named Chris Johnson (Cage) can see into the future--but only about two minutes at the most. Just enough to pull off his act and to make some money at the gambling tables, so long as he's discreet. Unfortunately, he hasn't been discreet enough; a government agent (Julianne Moore) has sussed out his precognitive talent and wants to use him to track down terrorists. But all Johnson cares about is a beautiful young woman (Jessica Biel, The Illusionist) that he can see in his future--much further in his future than he's ever seen before. Next has flashes that point to a much, much better movie than it turned out to be. A sequence in which Johnson, clairvoyantly explores all the different permutations of how he might approach his mystery woman is both funny and thought-provoking, and when Johnson avoids pursuers by knowing just the right moment to turn a corner or duck his head, it's smart and suspenseful. Unfortunately, the terrorist part of the plot is utterly perfunctory and precognition is reduced to an action movie gimmick. Somewhere in there is the kernel of a romantic comedy about precognition that's just waiting to be made. Cage gives a solid if unsurprising performance, Moore is basically earning a paycheck, but Biel is unexpectedly good (and her part is considerably better-written than your usual romantic interest); her performance suggests a better future than anyone might have predicted. --Bret Fetzer
More Nick Cage on DVD
The Author that Inspired the Movie
- Making the Next Best Thing
- The Next "Grand Idea"
- Two Minutes in the Future with Jessica Biel
- Visualizing the Next Move
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Fifty years later, the plot is reasonably predictable for those of us who have seen too many X-files too many times, and, unfortunately, the movie takes a great premise and turns it into a formulaic action movie. This means that role the lead is the only truly developed character, and it is played by Cage. He is in full Cage mode here, with a seemingly permanent angst-sorrow scowl on his face, but he does vary it more than usual. Moore and Biel play one-dimensional characters (tough cop and love interest respectively). All the other characters are small and not memorable
The great premise survived, however, and I found Cage to be a petty vice: I know he''s bad for me, but I can't stop. Anyway,
I liked the movie enough to spend a lazy afternoon watching it. Others with more discriminating tests or more experience in the genre may have a very different--and equally legitimate--opinion.
Meanwhile, terrorists have smuggled an ex-Soviet nuclear weapon to Los Angeles with the intent to destroy that major US city. FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) believes Johnson has true psychic ability that can lead her to the terrorists and save L.A.
That sets the stage for a cat-and-mouse chase wherein Cage is always a step ahead of everyone, using his secret abilities to search for and meet the young woman in his vision and avoid the FBI's reach who he believes wish to use his abilities for wrongful purposes.
This is enough for you to go on. There's plenty of very intense chases, shootouts and desperate action on the part of Cage to save the woman he's fallen in love with and foil the baddies. This film is well made and Cage does a very good job in his role. Julianne Moore gives a fine performance as a suitably tough and intense FBI agent on a mission. Jessica Biel, I thought, gave a solid performance as the woman in the vision.
While not a great film, it's very entertaining and, unless you just don't like Nicolas Cage, very much worth the asking price. Four Stars.