Next Lee Tamahori

Next Lee Tamahori
Loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s short story The Golden Man, Next is a sci-fi action film that, though amusing, doesn’t live up to the quality of other Dick adaptations such as A Scanner Darkly, Blade Runner or Minority Report. Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage) has the unique and unexplained ability to see two minutes into his future, though sometimes, when the plot requires it, he can see further. When FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) is charged with stopping the detonation of a nuclear device on American soil, she finds Johnson working as a Vegas magician and decides that he’s the best bet to keep America safe from terrorism. With no actual proof of Johnson’s precognitive abilities, all other options for National Security are pushed aside and the FBI focuses on enlisting his help, despite the fact that they are aware he can only see two minutes into his personal future. Liz Cooper (Jessica Biel) then enters from stage left because the film needs a sexy love interest to keep the audience watching. The DVD contains a few pun-y titled "making of” features ("Making the Best Next Thing,” "Visualizing the Next Move,” etc.) that attempt to add depth to a film that’s no more than a shallow puddle. Next is not the smartest sci-fi movie you will see but it isn’t the dumbest either. If you are willing to set aside your God-given ability to logically examine plot and just feel like watching Nicholas Cage smarm his way through 90 minutes of action nonsense while standing next to Jessica Biel, then Next will satisfy your cravings. If, on the other hand, you want to see a solid film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s literature, go out and rent Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly. (Paramount)