MOVIE: Next (2007)

Surprisingly enough, the movie that ranked at the very bottom of our list of movies from the week of Thanksgiving (9 out of 9!) was this recent flick starring Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, and Nicolas Cage.  Man, I hate it when a good cast is wasted on a bad film.  And this film was really, really baaaaad.  I suppose it’s possible we would’ve enjoyed this movie more had we not just seen the far-superior time-manipulation flick Deja Vu.  But then again, since this movie was absolutely teeming with inconsistencies and unexplained nonsense, I suspect we would’ve hated it regardless of Denzel’s previous awesomeness.

We were pretty surprised by how abominable this flick was, to be honest.  It had a cast that seemed pretty reliable (I’m not a huge Biel fan, but it’s not like she’s Britney Spears or anything), and a fairly interesting premise to boot.  Cage plays a Las Vegas magician named Cris Johnson who, we soon learn, isn’t relying solely on the standard tricks in his act.  Nope, Johnson has an actual skill:  he can see exactly two minutes into his own future.   In other words, anything he is personally involved in, he can see just before it happens. 

This talent has come in handy in Vegas, where he can see the outcome of a poker game before he bets, or wow his audience with premonitions of things they can watch take place moments later.  In his audience one evening, though, is a Federal agent named Ferris (Moore), who has somehow discovered Cris’s gift and wants him to help her stop a nuclear explosion she’s learned is about to take place in Los Angeles.  But, of course, Cris knows Ferris is coming, and knows what she wants, so he keeps dodging her. 

After all, who among us really cares if LA is wiped off the face of the earth? 

Kidding!

Anyway, while he’s dodging Ferris, Cris finds himself drawn to a local diner, where he’s had a premonition of a variety he’s never experienced before:  the vision of a beautiful woman entering that diner hours or even days in the future (remember, he usually can only see two minutes ahead).  For two weeks, he stakes the diner out before she finally arrives, and the two end up hooking up after he runs through several scenarios on how best to woo her.  Blah blah cutesy blah blah.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, the girl isn’t really that important — the script writers just couldn’t figure out another way to motivate Cris into helping the government stop the bomb.  So, she’s essentially introduced so she can later be kidnapped by the terrorists.  Soon Cris is seeing a repeating vision of her exploding into bits, and this finally makes him agree to help Ferris stop the destruction.  Yawn.

A much bigger problem with this movie, though, is the whole bomb story to begin with.  First of all, it’s never made clear why Ferris thinks Cris can help her.  She doesn’t know he’s been able to see further into the future if his girlfriend is involved, so for all the Feds know, his abilities are limited to two minutes.  Two minutes?  What good is that going to do them?  Her initial plan seems to consist of having Cris watch TV news, saying that as soon as the explosion happens, the news will report it immediately and thus he’ll know two minutes before the bomb goes off exactly where it’s going to explode.  But two minutes wouldn’t be enough time for anybody to DO anything.  They couldn’t stop the bomb from going off, or evacuate the area, or even necessarily catch the bad guys as they ran away. 

Even lamer, the bad guys eventually learn of Cris’s talent when they see him stop something from happening and immediately assume he was able to do so because he can see into the future.  But, like, seriously?  That was their first thought?  A MAGICIAN does something incredible and they scratch their heads and think, “Golly, he must have ESP!”?  Wha. . .?

And, oh my friends, that’s merely a tiny sample of the many, many problems to be found within this incredibly bad movie.  I can’t even talk about the ending — after two hours of totally moronic crap, they had the gall to slap on an “And Then I Woke Up” style of ending (there’s no literal waking up, but it’s an ending of similar laziness and gimmick).  As the final credits rolled (backwards, for extra cheesy cuteness), Mom and I just looked at each other and shook our heads.

On our list of 9 movies watched during my vacation, this one ranks at the very, very bottom!   If I could rank it any lower than absolute last, I WOULD.  Though, of course, I fully expect Alisa to post in comments that this was her favorite film of 2007.  Whatever you do, people, DO NOT LISTEN TO ALISA!  (Hee.  Hi, Alisa!)  Instead, picture yourselves two minutes in the future NOT renting this movie — that’ll be all the happy ending you actually need.

[DON’T Netflix or Buy Me — are you insane? I’m not even going to give you the links for this one.  It’s for your own good.]

Genre: Absolute Crap
Cast:  A bunch of talented actors who should be totally ashamed of themselves.

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3 Responses to “MOVIE: Next (2007)”

  1. Angie Says:

    We saw this movie at the dollar theater and actually enjoyed it. Maybe the horrible reviews lowered our expectations too much, but we enjoyed the movie. 🙂

  2. Mindy Says:

    Parts of it were fun… I can’t remember which parts at this point…. But I found the whole premise of Biel’s character hooking up with Cage’s to be a little, um, how do I say this…. ridiculous. She obviously thinks he’s a schmuck and then magically changes her mind? I usually really like Julianne Moore, but here the role felt stilted and meh. And Meg, you’re right, the ending was stupid. But if you’re looking for stupid, mindless stuff to while away the Christmas card writing hours…… never mind, White Christmas is a better option.

  3. Trip Says:

    Fortunately, I actively avoided this movie and I’m glad to see I was correct in my assumption of how much suck this movie contained.

    From my recollection of the trailer, I remember this looked like another “I hate my awesome super power and I’ll mope through this whole story wishing it wasn’t such a burden” type of flick…only with the added bonus of having Nicolas Cage undoubtedly having a scene where his character is under stress, making a comment about some plot point, slowly trailing off….AND THEN SCREAMING a ha-ha funny catchphrase. (Shudder)

    I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Julianne Moore just bugs me. I haven’t seen a lot of her films, but to me, she just never seems to bring credibility to her characters. I mean, come on…did anyone really believe for a second she could have been Clive Owen’s wife in Children of Men?

    So strike two for this movie right there. And now Meg’s review seals the deal. It shall now be forever tagged with the Scarlet-A of Netflix…”Not Interested”.

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