#40 Next

#40 Next

Year: 2007
Director: Lee Tamahori
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Epic Co-stars: Jessica Biel, Julianne Moore
Running Time: 96 minutes
Cage Time: 99%
Cage Kills: 0
Cage Flip-outs: 0
Skyler's Review: 
Whenever I see a movie by Saturn Films (Dr. Cage's label), I like to imagine how the Master of Film picks out a screenplay. For "Next" I imagine Nic sitting in a hot tub with a buddy of his and Cage says, "I really want to make out with Jessical Biel. I wonder how I could do that." His friend says, "I always thought it would be cool to have a movie where the main character can see the future; but, like, only the next two minutes, or something. That'd be pretty cool." And hence, film history was made.

Nic Cage's character has the magic power to scry into the future. The fire-flower thing is just CGI.
Basically the plot works like this: Frank Caddilac (Cage) has some sort of mutant power that lets him see 2 minutes into the future. This allows him to dominate in fist fights and elude the cops pretty well. He also makes a decent living at the blackjack table. Other than that, he tries to keep his abilities secret, fearing that the government will want to take him for their own ends. Frank then sees a girl, the same way he sees the future, but this is much more than 2 minutes into the future. He makes it his mission to find this girl (Biel) so he can have sex with her. There is a scene in which he gets to try out about 20 pickup lines before finding one that works, thanks to his abilities. 

Then comes the bad guys. There is a group of terrorists that want to blow up LA. The counter-terrorism guys are completely inept and are essentially useless. They know there is a bomb in the city, somehow they are good enough to know that, but that is all. Then that chick from The Big Lebowski has an idea when she sees surveillance video of Nic Cage totally evading the casino police. She decides that he must be able to see the future and that he is their only hope of finding the nuclear bomb. The CTs then spend 100% of their resources trying to apprehend Frank Caddilac for his "see the future" ability, NOT look for the bomb. You can figure out the the rest on your own.

At this point, Cage's character is fully cooperating with the authorities. Why then do they need to hold his eyes open?
There are some real problems with trying to make a movie with a plot like this work. For starters, the guy can see the future and so he reacts to it. That means that what the audience sees is Cage fail at something, try again; fail, try again; fail, try again; such that a 10 second action can be dragged out into minutes. This is cute at first, but then you start to think, "alright, I get it, he is virtually trying out many options, cut to the chase..." That is the 10 second stuff. Then there are also full 2 minute conversations that happen, but are then erased because Frank decides to change his mind at the last moment.

The film Next is most widely known for the Nicolas Cage "my hair is a bird" internet meme.
It is a cool idea, however, so you get a pass for that. As far as the counter-terrorism guys though, it is ridiculous. First of all, ZERO "experts" have any problem with trying to hunt down a guy because Julianne Moore says that "she thinks he has clairvoyance." Nope, they go in full lock stock and barrel to get this innocent civilian so that he can tell them where the bomb is. Remember he can only see 2 minutes into the future. This means they are going to all this trouble tracking down "some guy" (which takes multiple days) so they can get a 2 minute head start on a nuke in LA. What is their magic plan for this? How will he know where the bomb went off? They stick him in front of a TV saying that "as soon as that bomb goes off, the news will report the location." As soon as it goes off? Yeah, right. Even breaking news takes a minute to get on the air. What if they are at commercial? So this eats into the 2 minute window, we're talking 1 minute, tops.

On the plus side, we do get to see some epic slow-motion bird hair, and a moment when there are 20+ Nicolas Cages on screen. It was worth it for that alone. If Nicolas Cage could really make copies of himself, there is no end to how many National Treasures he could find/steal!

Movie quotability:

  • "Did you know that Nicolas Cage looks great without a shirt on, even though he's a forty-year old man?" -James
  • "We need to use all of our resources to find the guy who can see two minutes into the future!!" -Skyler
  • "Oh my god, a dead hooker! That's awesome." -James
  • "I've seen every possible ending. None of them are good for you."
  • "It happened. It just hasn't happened yet."
  • "Here is the thing about the future. Every time you look at, it changes, because you looked at it, and that changes everything else."
  • "You have one way out of this... that wasn't it."
  • "Every once in a while what we think is magic is the real deal hiding behind a $50.00 trick, because the alternative is impossible for others to live with."
  • "Did you hear about the zen monk who ordered a hot dog? He said he'd have one with everything."
Plot Holes:
  • Nothing in this movie makes sense. Let's just leave it at that.
  • Sheets stick to Jessica Beal's boobs even when she's sitting up in bed.

Exceeds Expectations
!Baked in the Cage!


Steve M said...

Was Cage looking for a challenge or something? As someone who can see what is about to happen next there is never a need to flip out and every reason to be calm, almost bored at what was going to happen next. He's really showing us the depth of his acting capabilities by keeping all his flip outs off camera.

Holes, holes, and more holes. Seeing into the future sometimes takes no time at all while at other times he has to sit there and grunt and squeeze for a while to see into the future. He can see days in advance that Biel is going to be at a certain cafe at a certain time, but is unable to notice the date on a newspaper or noticing the direction of the shadows so he knows if it is before or after noon. For some reason he is unable to see any other details of her till the moment arrives when he is then able to use his 2 minute ability to hitch a ride with her. Later on he uses his newly gained long range vision to see the bomb going off days in the future. He fails to stop it in the future so do you think he lies in bed and tries again (since this apparently takes no time at all)? Nope, he goes against protocol of trying over and over again and decides he's better off trying to locate the bomb with his normal 2 minute vision as opposed to having several days to search it out. Which is ridiculous when you consider that there is nothing you can do in the 2 minutes before the bomb going off to pin point its location, travel there, and then stop it from going off.

It turns out I watched this movie in the past year or two so clearly it isn't that memorable since it was almost like watching it again for the first time.

KaBluie said...

#8 Next (2007) First Rewatch. Great movie!

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