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  Publicity Stills of "Next"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Director: Lee Tamahori
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, Tory Kittles, Peter Falk
RunTime: 1 hr 36 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Official Website: www.nextmovie.com

Opening Day: 17 May 2007


Las Vegas showroom magician Cris Johnson has a secret which is a gift and a curse which torments him: he can see a few minutes into the future. Sick of the examinations he underwent as a child and the interest of the government and medical establishment in his power, he lies low under an assumed name in Vegas, performing cheap tricks and living off small-time gambling “winnings.” But when a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles, government agent Callie Ferris must use all her wiles to capture Cris and convince him to help her stop the cataclysm.

Movie Review:

“Next” is another one of Philip K. Dick’s short story being adapted to the big screen, let’s do a recap, we have the fan’s favourites Ford/Scott’s “Blade Runner”, Cruise/Spielberg’s “Minority Report”, the horrid “Screamers”, the little-known “Imposters” and worst of all, the Affleck/Woo’s “Paycheck”. Of course, we have to mention the recent “A Scanner Darkly” which never makes it here.

The major problem with all these Philip K. Dick’s adaptations is the creative infusion of one’s own imagination by the screenwriters, a failed approach to capture the wild, futuristic thinking of Dick’s materials.

Apparently, “Next” is not spared either. The prolific Nicholas Cage (from Ant Bully to Wicker Man to Ghost Rider, an average of one film per quarter) is here as a Las Vegas magician with a gift of precognition, in other words he can see what’s going to happen in the next 2 minutes. It’s a curse not a gift it seems. And so as the plot plods along, the FBI wants to engage Cage’s gift to quash a terrorist nuclear attack and ta-daah…save Los Angeles!

By now, we hope you are still around to read our review because it might be a bit dry to describe “terrorist attack” in words. As compared to the big screen, we have a mildly exciting car-racing sequence, a showcase of Cage’s ability to predict the future along the way and the appearance of Julianne Moore as a FBI agent (we think she’s here for the dough) and also the ravishing Jessica Biel as Cage’s love interest (we think she’s here for the dough as well).

Director Lee Tamahori (back from his cross-dressing scandal) from “Die Another Day” and the Ice Cube’s dud, “XXX2” is old hands at creating major pyrotechnics sequences, perhaps that explains the reason why we there isn’t much sci-fi elements to talk about.

And yes, the recognizable A-list cast (we include Jessica Biel because she’s hot, anyway we pray she will be in the list someday) practically “zombie” their way through except Mr Cage (in another laughable toupee after Ghost Rider) who no doubt can spout cheesy lines and put in a straight, convincing performance despite the unbelievable plot.

“Next” is a typical no-brainer, sci-fi wannabe movie shrouded in typical Hollywood big-bang style but before you attempt to savour it, you need to toss away the “Philip K. Dick” connection. And the twist towards the end might generate some unintentional laughter.

Movie Rating:

(Just hang on to Cage's toupee and enjoy the ride)

Review by Linus Tee


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