2007-08-20 12:31
What it’s about:

Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) can see the future. Well, two minutes of it anyway, and only events related to him. Still, his talent keeps him in enough cash to stay out of trouble. Then an FBI battle-axe (Julianne Moore) shows up and tries force him to track down a bunch of terrorists with a nuclear bomb. And of course she would pick the day he meets the girl of his dreams (Jessica Biel).

What we thought of it:

Nicholas Cage must be a little confused. Here he is, starring in yet another dumb action film and suddenly his public turns on him. He’s used to the critics by now – they hated National Treasure and that made nearly $350 million (in your face New York Times!) – but he isn’t used to the punters hating his movies. Next has made just $40 million so far – barely half the budget. “What went wrong?” he thinks.

It’s a good question. Sure, Next is as risible as they come, but no more so than Ghost Rider or Gone in Sixty Seconds or a dozen other schlock-fests that have made Cage such a wealthy man. It’s got a hot babe, plenty of expensive stunts and flashy effects, not to mention that neat little clairvoyance gimmick. What’s not to like?

Perhaps it’s Cage’s prodigious mullet that is turning audiences off, or the creepy way he paws at his 26-year-old co-star. Credibility is, by definition, already stretched thin in these sorts of movies, but no-one can seriously believe that Cage’s character could get Biel into bed in under 24 hours, even with supernatural powers.

It’s certainly not the filmmaking. Lee Tamahori may be nursing a growing reputation for being a hack after xXx: State of the Union and Die Another Day, but the man still knows how to shoot an action sequence. So what if half the effects were ripped from The Matrix and the score from a Michael Bay film? This is action film for goodness sake - it’s designed to be derivative.

Maybe, just maybe, the ghost of Phillip K Dick has finally reached out to take revenge for the repeated butcher of his work. He already owes Gary Goldman, one of the three hacks who wrote Next, for the hatchet job he did on Total Recall (and that was a much better film).

Dick’s original short story, “The Golden Man”, is a sci-fi classic. In it we meet a mutant human who has evolved to a new level: he has no sense of past and only a vague idea of present. Instead he sees the future as we do the past – as a multitude of different “paths” he can take.

In Dick’s hands the story had a disturbing transcendental quality. The existence of this man signalled the advent of a new race of beings that would ultimately push humans into extinction by virtue of inherent superiority.

Of course by the time this idea gets to the big screen all we’re left with is a parlour trick that lets Nick Cage act like Rambo and get away with it. We shouldn’t be surprised. Hollywood directors have been decimating Phillip K Dick stories for decades. Only one filmmaker has ever managed to capture his genius, and that was way back in 1982 with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

Next has plenty of other flaws, not least a deeply embarrassed (and embarrassing) performance by Julianne Moore. You can literally see her grimacing her way through some of the lines. As for the pneumatic Jessica Biel, she just looks pleased to be sharing the screen with so many A-listers. And then there’s the lame ending. We won’t ruin it for you, but trust us, it’s lame.

One thing’s for certain – the writers of Next have seen the enemy, and they are French. The Russians and Germans must be pissed - they normally bag all the good terrorist parts. Maybe they’ve organised a secret global boycott of the movie in revenge.

Whatever the reason, Next seems to be headed to that dusty graveyard of failed blockbusters. So why not do your good deed for the week and go and see it. Poor Mr Cage sure could use the extra money – haircuts don’t come cheap after all.

- Alistair Fairweather
It might be the acting or the plot, or even his appalling hairdo, but something has made both the critics and the punters turn on Nicholas Cage’s new movie. The weird thing is, it isn’t even that bad.

audilia couto 2007/06/04 4:36 PM
next it is not bad. even though nick hair piece was a bit "obivious"
fareda 2007/06/05 12:30 PM
next excellent
King Hambit 2007/06/07 6:52 AM
Next Nicolaus Cage is a faggot he completely killed Ghost Rider!
Matthew 2007/06/13 7:06 PM
Good Movie Well what can i say it will be a good movie to watch when it comes on dvd. Its one of those movies where u will watch it once and think what a cool movie but would not be tempted to watch it again.
Victor 2007/06/14 2:49 PM
For the record Just for the record it's Blade Runner (not runners) Don't waiste your time with this movie. Rather spend the time and money on getting just about any Philip K Dick novel (e.g. do androids dream of electric sheep) or at the least, rent blade runner again for old times sake
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