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Movie Review: Next

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I guess we all wish we could get a second chance at something. Sometimes there isn't enough time to finish what has to be done. In this action packed film, such a thing is made possible by a gifted man.

Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) is a Las Vegas nightclub magician/illusionist who likes to gamble at neighboring casinos. His edge on the gambling tables is his ability to see two minutes into the future and react to benefit himself. Because he uses his clairvoyance in his daily life, he gains the attention of the FBI, who decide they want to talk to him.

The bureau's team is spearheaded by Special Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) and her assistant Agent Cavanaugh (Tory Kittles). Agent Ferris is a beautiful crack shot, hard-nosed agent who needs Cris's expertise to aid in solving a problem concerning national security. It seems that a group of terrorists are threatening to detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. The FBI thinks Cris can tell them in advance where and when this will take place. Agent Ferris has loads of trouble capturing Cris, because he has a two-minute jump on her and everyone else. But she must convince him to help stop the cataclysm.

Even with all the car chase scenes in this movie, our hero somehow has time to find romance with a school teacher named Liz (Jessica Beil). She teaches Native American children on a reservation and is a realist, not believing in fate. But she soon learns, through Chris, that fate exists.

The terrorists follow the FBI and soon find out about Cris. These determined bad guys and gals leave a trail of dead bodies in their wake in order to capture or kill him. They decide their best chance is to capture Liz and use her as bait to capture Cris. But, not to worry, time is the major weapon that Cris has on his side. I won't spoil it, but the movie has a great ending; you'll have to see it to enjoy it.

Nicolas Cage as the hero more than delivers; Julianne Moore is fantastic as the hard-nosed "Annie Oakley" type federal agent. She has true grit. Of course, the beautiful Jessica Beil's presence brought a ray of sunshine to the screen. But it was a rare and wonderful moment seeing Peter Falk as Irv (Cris's father figure), even though it was only a small part.

This film doesn't need a great sophisticated script to make it fun to watch. I was extremely entertained by this good 'ol popcorn flick.

Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Run time: 96 minutes
Release date: April 27, 2007
Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13

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About Gerald Wright