johnlink ranks NEXT (2007)

I had a couple of hours to kill before the Patriots AFC Championship, and decided to throw this in. I remember it being average, but somewhat entertaining. It had been on my mind since watching another movie based on a Philip K. Dick story, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU. I knew NEXT wasn’t great, but then, not all movies can be classics. Right?

I watched NEXT (2007) on 1.22.12. It was my second viewing of the film.

This movie is really a mess. Nicholas Cage does his quirky guy thing, Julianne Moore is wasted as a one-dimensional FBI agent, Jessica Biel (for some reason) falls for Cage, who is both 18 years her senior and a complete weirdo. I didn’t buy the premise, the relationships, or the motivations.

This movie is driven by four central action pieces. The first, the film’s open, involves Cage running from casino security utilizing his power to see two minutes into the future. This scene is pretty well done, it’s a nice set up. The next action sequence has him running down a mountain, away from the FBI. This sequence could have been cool if not for the CGI logs and objects chasing everyone down the hill. I spent the morning showing somebody some scenes from Keaton’s THE GENERAL. Watching Keaton and his peers perform amazing stunts on top of moving trains hours before watching Cage run down a mountain being chased by obvious CGI debris made NEXT look pretty silly.

The next sequence involves Cage again running from the FBI. By this point the future-sight gimmick has gotten old and relatively uninteresting. The last bit has Cage, now with the FBI, going up against bad guys. This has some nice moments where we see the depth of his powers, but also seems to call into question why he didn’t do this sort of thing before when the FBI ultimately got him the first time.

The biggest problem here is that Cage is too invincible. Nothing can happen to him, because he can see it all. The danger, after we learn the full extent of his powers, never feels real. The villains, also, never feel threatening. I always talk about how a movie like this is often as good as its villains. The bad guys in this are terribly generic.

This just feels like a movie that didn’t need to happen, which sort of (sadly) sums up much of the 21st century Nicholas Cage catalog. The writing is weak, and doesn’t follow its own rules (why can’t he be seen when he looks into the future to fidn Biel strapped to a bomb? Don’t his powers allow him to LIVE the future, not just see it?). The acting is mailed in. The direction is uninspired.

This isn’t a terrible movie, I’ve seen much worse. But I can think of a hundred action flicks I would rather watch. In a way it is almost worse to just play by the numbers and make something so mediocre than it is to take a shot and fail.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 5; ACTING: 4; WRITING: 3

4+5+4+3+0=16

FINAL SCORE: 4

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~ by johnlink00 on January 23, 2012.

One Response to “johnlink ranks NEXT (2007)”

  1. […] pages. As a result, my average score for movies has been fairly high this month (well, except for NEXT). Here is another classic, and another Hitchcock/Grant classic at […]

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