World of Chig   

Film review: Next

Yesterday, I went to see Next, the film starring Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore. Fortunately, it's nothing to do with the clothing retailer where I spent a lot of money on Monday. That would have been dull. It's Cage playing a man who can see two minutes into the future. Because of this, the FBI wants to use him in order to stop a gang of terrorists from exploding a nuclear bomb. Why the terrorists want to do this is never explained. Who the terrorists are is never explained. (Two of them speak French and one of them seems English. This is never explained.) How Mr Cage would be able to stop the bomb going off, given only two minutes' notice is, you guessed it, never explained.

Having said all that, once I'd accepted that the basic premise was preposterous, I quite enjoyed it. Cage is quite convincing in the part, even if he does wipe shaving foam off his face in one scene when he has clearly not finished shaving. The idea is quite clever and the 'loops' in the timeline are, surprisingly, not overdone, so you have to concentrate and work it out for yourself sometimes, which is more rewarding. It's no Memento though.

The real star of the first part of the film is Las Vegas, where Cage's character works as a magician/illusionist, because of his special gift. I had a fabulous few days in Las Vegas in 1999, so I always enjoy films which use the neon city as a backdrop. However, there are a couple of a car scenes which use the worst green-screen effects I've seen in a modern day film. You assume that this kind of effect is going to get better and better, don't you? The overlay effect was so obvious that I half expected to see someone walk past the backdrop or for the camera to pan out and reveal a technician rocking the car. Dreadful.

It's not a film I'll be in a rush to see again, but it occupied a couple of drizzly hours on a Wednesday afternoon quite nicely. My Belgian friend didn't like it much.

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