Imagine if you could see two minutes into the future. For starters, you'd know how this review ends – and where's the fun in that?
In the latest Sci-fi thriller Next, Nic Cage plays Cris Johnson, a magician who's been born with the ability to see two minutes into the future. When we meet him he's using his powers for his shonky Las Vegas lounge act.
The FBI however, has bigger plans for him. They think his clairvoyance can help them prevent a terrorist group from unleashing a nuclear attack. But Cris is more interested in tracking down the girl of his prophetic dreams.
Initially intriguing, Next quickly devolves into a sub-par action flick. What's troubling is how little thought has gone into the script – which is very loosely based on a novel by Philip K. Dick.
Not only is the mind-bending premise barely explored, the very basics of motivation have been omitted.
We don't know why or how the FBI decided the best defence against nuclear terrorism is a stage magician who can see just two minutes into the future. Talk about cutting it fine.
As for the generic Euro-baddies, we're never told how they know about Cris. Or even why they want to nuke LA. My guess is they hate our freedoms because we keep making movies like this.
Nic Cage might've made this work with his oddball charm but his fright wig and bronzer make him kinda weird lookin'.
Meanwhile, Julianne Moore's FBI agent feels comprised of offcuts from her work in Hannibal. Only Jessica Biel seems to be trying.
Kiwi director Lee Tamahori stages a couple of decent action scenes but they're pointless. By the time he comes up with a nifty visualisation of how Cris projects himself into the many possible futures, we've given up caring.
But Next does inspire clairvoyant powers. When I should've been glued to the climax, I was flashing to the future, seeing myself at home, in tracky dacks with a glass of wine, telling my other half about the silly movie I'd just seen.
And that's exactly what happened. Wow, trippy.
As a movie that makes you wish lowbrow Hollywood would give up on high-concept sci-fi, Next rates one and half stars. Next is in cinemas now.