Next

 
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Written by:Gary Goldman, Jonathan Hensleigh, Paul Bernbaum
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, Tory Kittles, Jose Zuniga
Released: August 23, 2007
Grade: B+

Cris Johnson (Cage) has an incredible ability.  He can see roughly 2 minutes into his own future.  This may not sound like much time but when you think about, it’s an exciting concept.  It’s explored in the opening scenes when Cris heads to a casino.  He loves playing the blackjack tables because he can predict exactly what cards will come his way.

The problem with having such a talent is that it must be concealed.  If the casino owners knew for example, he’d be banned for life.  Cris therefore lives his life as normally as possible.  He lives alone and works as a magician (funnily enough).  At the casino, he makes sure he loses a few hands as to not attract any attention.

After watching him in action, FBI Agent Callie Ferris (Moore) has picked up on his unique gift.  She is currently trying to locate a nuclear weapon which was stolen by a terrorist organisation and thinks that Cris can help.  By looking into the future, he might be able to tell her where the bomb is and when it will explode.

The problem for Agent Ferris is that Cris Johnson doesn’t want to help.  He doesn’t want the publicity and wants to continue living his inconspicuous life.  Ferris is no chance of catching Cris either because he’ll always be 2 minutes ahead of her.  Cris will know when she’s coming and can deliberately avoid her.

A love interest then enters the picture.  Her name is Liz Cooper (Biel) and Cris has had an eye on her for some time.  Another luxury of being able to see into the future is that Cris knows exactly what to say.  He knows how she’ll react to his pick up lines and so can pick the one that works best.

Cris may have found love but Agent Ferris has found an opportunity.  She senses that she can use Liz to help get to Cris.  But even if she does manage to speak with him, how can she convince him to help the FBI in their search for the missing nuclear device?

I’m not usually a fan of time travel movies because the logic makes no sense.  Next is a little different.  It had me thinking about the all the cool stuff I could do in Cris’s position.  Would I also keep the talent a secret from others?

The idea for the movie has come from a short story written by science fiction author Phillip K. Dick.  He may have been dead for 25 years but Dick’s works are as popular as ever.  Adaptations of his works include Blade Runner, Total Recall, Paycheck, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly.  His short story (titled “The Golden Man”) has made for an interesting motion picture.  The pursuit sequences are intense and I particularly enjoyed the film’s ending.

So now, what’s next?