Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel in Next.
Next isn't a great movie, but I enjoyed it anyway. It proves the point that you can be a bad movie and still have a sense of fun that can entertain an audience.
Nicolas Cage stars as Chris Johnson, a smalltime Vegas stage magician who really does possess the power to see the future. It's a limited power though, as he can only see up to two minutes ahead and only the future that affects him. Still, it's enough to help him win at blackjack.
The FBI, in the person of Juliane Moore's Agent Ferris, learns of Johnson's powers (although it's never made clear just how), and tries to enlist him to help them in tracking down a missing nuclear device, which a group of terrorists is threatening to detonate in the Los Angeles area. However, trying to get a hold of someone who can see you when you're coming, every time you come for him, is as difficult as it sounds and Chris is able to elude them with relative ease.
Chris is more interested in meeting up with Liz (Biel), a woman he's been foreseeing that he will meet for weeks now, which is odd because this is the only time he's ever seen further than two minutes ahead and he doesn't know why (and it's never explained). Despite the age gap and the fact that they've just met and despite her being really hot and he being odd and not very attractive, they're soon having sex and falling in love.
Since there wouldn't be much of a plot if the FBI never caught up with Chris, you can probably guess that they finally do. And seeing him use his power to help them go after the vaguely Eastern European terrorists is fun and imaginatively done.
Director Lee Tamahori, whose previous credits include xXx and Die Another Day, knows how to stage action scenes and these are the best moments in the movie. Cage, who does possess some sort of odd charisma, is good in the lead, despite being a bit old to be wooing Biel.
My biggest problem with this movie, is its ambiguous ending. This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to movies. You can leave the meaning of the ending open to interpretation, like with The Departed, but the actual storyline needs to come to a satisfactory conclusion. Having said that though, I must admit that this ending, while not concrete, didn't bother me as much as other movies that have ended without really ending, probably because this movie isn't really taking itself very seriously.
Next isn't a movie that you should try to over analyze. If you look too closely at the plot, you can find a few holes. And it's not so big and splashy that you need to see it on the big screen, but for b-movie fun, you could do worse than watching this one.
Photos © Copyright Paramount Pictures (2007)