Movie Reveiws : Forum : �Next�

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17 Years Ago

�Next� should be called �Next Stupid Decision� or �Next Poorly Written Character� or �Next Idiotic Dialogue� or �Next Moronic Action Movie Clich�.� Director Lee Tamahori deserves a swift kick in the britches for letting this movie into public view. If I were Philip K. Dick, the writer of the book �The Golden Man� in which the movie is based, I�d spend my royalties and find a hit man for everyone involved in this movie.

Nick Cage�s character, Chris Johnson aka Frank Cadillac is mildly clairvoyant and hides behind his two bit magic act for fear his �difference� will be discovered. Even his second rate act can�t save him from Agent Callie Ferris�s attention. Agent Ferris, played with Julianne Moore, attempts to abduct Johnson to prevent a nuclear attack. Eventually all FBI resources are directed at finding Chris Johnson. Even the bad guys want to find Johnson because the FBI wants to find him.

Every character in �Next� is shallow, poorly written and cookie cutter. Russian or eastern European, the bad guys could have been plucked from nearly any Steven Seagal movie and had their brains removed. Yes, I said it; Seagal bad guys are smarter than �Next� bad guys. The bad guys spend considerable time, money, resources, and put themselves in considerable risk to find Chris Johnson only because the FBI is trying to find him. As a consequence they make stupid sloppy mistakes, and waste time they could be using blowing people up! If they just let the FBI run wild after Johnson, they�d have all the time in the free world to plant the nuke anywhere they wanted. Instead they needlessly and publically kill; keep machine guns on their desk in their secret hide out and have dialogue well written enough to be the winning screen play in the 3rd grade category in McNear Elementary School�s �Make my movie� contest.

You�d think having the gift of foresight would give Johnson the ability to make better decisions. In fact, a great deal of this movie is about splitting his consciousness to make better decisions. This is pretty cute with it comes to talking to women but leaves you scratching your head at other times. Chris Johnson�s ability to look into the future allows him to go through different scenarios but it does not help his reasoning skills. They spare him from stealing cars when conversations would work better, or walking away when having a conversation is just stupid.

Nicholas Cage is wrong in �Next,� all wrong. His hair never moves. Either he is wearing a helmet that looks like hair or he is wearing so much hairspray that his hair was firm enough he could fall off the Hoover Dam on his Ninja at 250 miles an hour and keep his brains in place. His hair isn�t his only beauty problem; his makeup artist went a little drag queen on him. His eyeliner is practically a line under his eye, his shimmery eye shadow and tarantula length eyelashes are distracting on close-ups. I half expected him to tell Jessica Biel that he liked her only as a friend. Oh, yeah and his acting sucked too.

Julianne Moore�s character, Agent Ferris can best be described as shrill. For those of you who have seen the �Pretender� series, she reminded me of Parker. Stomping, barking, and drawing zigzags when a ruler is nearby; her decision making is just as bad as Johnson�s. Ferris convinces the FBI that they should be trying to find Johnson instead of looking for the bomb directly. Julianne Moore probably could have saved this role if she wasn�t so completely entrenched in the clich� nature of the character.

I usually don�t judge people by the quality of the movies they like, but I think my policy will change. If you like �Next� you are a dead to me, banished to the world of crazies and wackos! Don�t give me any excuses, you are fired from my life forever. At the least you earn a serious eye roll.

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LaRae Meadows
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