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Friday, October 26, 2007


**** Next. Science fiction, action/adventure

Directed by: Lee Tamahori.

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel.

This was the second movie of the double feature at the

Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage) is a Las Vegas magician, stage name Frank Cadillac, with a talent a little more esoteric than sleight-of-hand: he can see 2 minutes into the future. His own future. The exception is Liz (Jessica Biel). When he's around her, he can see much further.

He's been keeping a low profile, but comes to the attention of the FBI anyway. When he prevents a casino robbery, it gives Agent Ferris (Julianne Moore) the leverage to force him to work for them. See, there's this group of terrorists with a nuclear bomb....

I loved the premonition plot, and was impressed by how well the concept was portrayed on-screen, as basically imagining the consequences to each small choice and then choosing the course of action with the best outcome. The best scene depicting that is in the diner when Cris actually meets Liz, the woman he's been seeing in visions.

The action plot I wasn't quite so enthralled with. I didn't quite understand why they needed Cris's talents, and I didn't understand the terrorists' objective, and what the heck the FBI was doing to Cris with the eye clamps is a complete mystery. Granted, some of that might be because of the rapid pace of the dubbing and my limited fluency in German.

The climax, however, using the precognition in an action scene, was very cool, and I enjoyed it as much as the somewhat similar scene in Morgan Hawke's novella "Fortune's Star" in Hard Candy.

I know Nicholas Cage gets on some people's nerves, and this is not the movie to change their minds. I like him. It's Julianne Moore who gets on my nerves. She seems too bland to me to be convincing as a tough FBI agent. Eh. It's personal preferences, either way. If you like both of them, you'll probably love the movie. And Jessica Biel, well, she was just there. Eye candy, I presume. I'm not the target audience there.

We'll probably get the DVD eventually, maybe used from Netflix. I'd like to see it again, in English, this time, and I think the boys would enjoy it as well.


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