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Next...is next to NOTHING (Jerome A. Holst © 2007)

Here's the basic plot.

Nicholas Cage plays Cris Johnson, aka, Frank Cadillac, a Las Vegas lounge magician with the unique gift of future sight...but only  two minutes into the future.

Cris has been traumatized since his childhood with the ability to see the future and does his best to keep it a secret. He fears nefarious organizations who would misuse his power. But in his act, Cris uses this unique ability.

For example, he foresees that a latch on a necklace of a Asian woman in the audience will fail. So Cris tells her in three seconds your necklace will fall off. It happens. Wow! Everyone is amazed.

Off hours, Cris surreptitiously loots the gaming tables and machines to make some extra money. After all, he can see two minutes into the future, so he bides his time and makes the safe bets. He takes his ill gotten gains to an old car mechanic (played by Peter Falk in a cameo role).


Cris temporarily held captive by FBI

What Cris doesn't realize is that FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) suspects he has an ability that could be utilized to find a nuclear bomb stowed someplace in Los Angeles. When he realizes they are watching, he eludes them, but not before meeting a young women named Liz (Jessica Biel) whom he has been seeing with his future sight.

He goes to the restaurant where Liz is supposed show, wangles his way into her good graces and then snags a ride out of town and away from the authorities.

Along the way, Cris falls in love with Liz as she visits an Indian reservation where she teaches. Delayed by a rain store and washed out roads, Cris and Liz stay over night at a motel. The next morning they kiss and make love. Cris learns that when he is near Liz he has the ability to see further in to the future that he ever has before. Why she has this effect on him is never explained.

A short time later, Liz is asleep and Cris is staring at the ceiling and contemplating his future. Everything that happens from this point in the film is just a possible future that Cris is seeing in his mind.

Most of the time, Cris uses his ability to alter events, for instance, turning left instead of right to avoid pursuing FBI agents or directing FBI agents to find hidden terrorist snipers or bombs.

At the end of the film, the director cuts back to the moment where Cris is lying in bed with his new found love. Nothing that happened in most of the film actually happened. A Dallas Bobby Ewing moment.

And to top it off, the FBI never find the nuclear bomb. Of course, it explodes in the alternate future (seen by Cris) and kills everybody. It is this act that brings us back to Cris lying in bed next to Liz..

He then calls the FBI and makes a deal to help find the bomb, if certain conditions can be met, namely, his girlfriend is taken out of harms way. In his alternate future, she was blown to pieces by terrorist rigged body bomb and disintegrated in an atomic explosion.

Bottom line: Based on the Philip K. Dick story "The Golden Man", Next (2007) has an interesting premise, but a very disappointing ending. Well, maybe NEXT time. Wait for this one on video.

 

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