Another year rolls by and out comes another movie based on the works of Philip K. Dick Next, based on “The Golden Man,” finds Nicolas Cage dodging bullets and assorted debris as he races to save the woman he loves and stop a terrorist explosion. Now, there’s some good in here, but there’s also some bad. Bad in the way that not only did it seems like this movie wasn’t even finished upon release, and secondly, the story is stripped bare. It seems like that this movie simply didn’t meet its deadline, but enough film was shot to make a coherent story. It’s a shame because there is so much possibilities with this flick. I guess this isn’t the first time I’ve been disappointed with a Philip K. Dick adaptation.
Las Vegas showroom magician Cris Johnson has a secret: he can see two minutes into the future. Sick of the government and scientific interest in his gift, he lies low in Vegas, performing cheap tricks and living off small-time gambling “winnings.” However, it’s not long before he, once again, becomes noticed. But when a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles, government agent Callie Ferris must use all her wiles to capture Cris and convince him to help her stop the cataclysm.
Let me start off by saying that this is a very, very loose adaptation of “The Goldan Man,” the Philip K. Dick story for which this movie is based. Save for Johnson’s ability to see into the future and determine every possible outcome, not much is left. It’s very much a summer blockbuster type movie, from start to finish. If the movie going public wants to see a special effects flick, then look no further. However, those looking for a bit of a deeper movie will be disappointed. What we get is a very streamlined story with the barest of information provided, just enough to movie the film along.
I’m not sure where to start with this flick. Next is an adequate movie, but one that seems far from finished and a bit incomplete. It seems like there was much more story to be fleshed out. Nearly every single character comes across as one-dimensional and tired, Julianne Moore especially. Not only does it seem like she has no interest in the script, but she looks annoyed to be there. In fact, it appears that she becomes increasingly irritated as the movie continues (though finally gets some release as she blows away potential terrorists in the finale).
I think that, once this movie is done you can’t help but think of not only the cop-out ending, but how much better it should have been. The talent involved in enormous, and the story itself open to so many possibilities. I just can’t get over how incomplete t his movie feels as a result. It seems like the movie was barely finished, with not only the script feeling short, but the special effects lacking. I understand that it’s hard to pull off CGI sometimes, but it looks pretty horrible in more than a few spots, and came off as seeming unfinished. Whether it was blue screen work, a lumber avalanche, or a nuclear explosion, work seems to be a step or two short of completion. It’s a shame, too. There are some scenes that would look jaw-dropping if they looked a shade better.
And then there’s the ending which . .. well . . . it’s a huge letdown of an ending. I won’t go into anymore detail to spoil it, but it’s a huge let down. But, once the big twist at the end happens that elicits this cop-out ending, you’ll see why it was likely the only way for the movie to end.
So, the movie’s about average, so are the extras any better? Nah, not really. We get a collection of featurettes entitled, “Making the Best Next Thing,” “Making the Best Next Thing Other: The Next ‘Grand Idea’”, and “Two Minutes in the Future with Jessica Biel.” Standard EPk stuff. Nothing to really get worked up about. There’s also a collection of trailers, including one for the DVD release of Michael Bay’s Transformers. A small package, but one fans of the movie will enjoy.
Overall, I’d have to say Rent It. If you are interested in Next, rent it before opting whether or not to purchase it. It’s a pretty average movie all around, but one that doesn’t seem to live up to it’s potential. The DVD is pretty solid all around, with a solid standard DVD audio and video transfer and a small collection of extras. I imagine this movie will look much better in HD-DVD. As a straight up action flick, Next works as a straight summer action-piece, but it lacks substance. If you’re someone who wants more than explosions and special effects, this movie may not be for you. But, like I said, you may want to. rent it before opting to purchase.
Next is now available to own on DVD and HD-DVD.