Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, Tory
Kittles, Peter Falk
2007, 96 Minutes, Directed by: Lee Tamahori
this “adaptation” of a Philip K. Dick short story titled The Golden Man,
Nicolas Cage plays a character that can “see” two minutes into the future
and thus change the future. As you can imagine this is particularly handy,
especially when it comes to dodging bullets or finding the right pick-up
The movie only takes the basic concept behind Dick’s short story and spins
its own post-9/11 counterterrorist action story around it.
there’s the Feds who want to enlist Cage in helping them find a nuclear bomb
planted somewhere in L.A. by international terrorists. What the terrorists
actually want to achieve is never made clear as they are of the Die Hard
Euro-trash variety instead of more likely al Qaida types
— in this
politically correct Hollywood I suppose it is far easier to insult European
sensibilities than Muslim ones.
Still, having a two-minute
edge isn’t that fantastic really: even if you knew exactly where a nuke is
about to explode in downtown L.A., can you make it there within two minutes,
never mind defuse it? Never mind. Finding and capturing Cage remains the
Feds’ highest priority in a way that will make U.S. citizens wonder just how
well their tax dollars are being spent.
"Cage is a bit like
Superman here, but without any Kryptonite . . ."
Cage's character is however
reluctant to co-operate. As he rightly points out, if he agrees once to such
an agreement they will force him into working for them forever, whether he’d
want to or not. Next however never explores this particular moral issue,
preferring instead to be a bog standard Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer-style
After a while it however
becomes apparent that having a protagonist that can change the future is a
bit like Superman, but without any Kryptonite. Cage’s character is simply
too powerful to befell any harm and no matter how hard the movie tries to
cheat, it cannot find its way around this and create any tension in the
process. What is the point if your hero is invincible? To worsen matters the
movie’s ending is the biggest cheat of all, as the Cage character’s powers
become stronger and almost god-like.
With some bland action
sequences – one almost wishes for Michel Bay’s presence as Lee Tamahori of
Tomorrow Never Dies and xXx: State of the Union fame clearly
doesn’t seem up to the task. (Long gone are the days when this Kiwi export
was referred to as the director of the brilliant Once Were Warriors.)
Cage telegraphs his
performance and the only person who seems interested in the proceedings are
the always professional Julianne Moore. Uninspiring with an ending that can
only count as the biggest cheat since Bobby Ewing walked out of the shower,
Next is to be filed under the same category as the recent similar Denzil
Washington-starrer Déjà Vu: bland and easily
forgettable . . .