There’s typically just something kind of right about Nicolas Cage and dusty localities, from John Dahl’s criminally underrated Red Rock West to David Lynch’s enthusiastically overwrought road trip Wild at Heart,
which winds its way across the country on what might be described as
the a fever dream tour of demented trailer parks, both literal and
figurative. Maybe it’s because, for all the charm and magnetism of his
easygoing smile, there’s still something slightly wounded and aloof
about Cage; a bit melancholic even when he’s happy, he seems vaguely
wolfish, and is thus easy to imagine skulking around in a desert,
searching for something, the content of which even he might not know.
Next, with its slightly orange-hued trailers and TV ads, has the look, on its
surface, of another enjoyably dusty Cage flick, albeit much more of the
disposable popcorn variety. But a collectable-worthy Sin City Cage trilogy (alongside Honeymoon in Vegas and Leaving Las Vegas), alas, Next, does not make.
In fact, it’s not heresy, I promise, to say that Next doesn’t really qualify as a film. A sort of wan warm-up for the heroism of his now-lensing National Treasure sequel, Next is a shrugging, unsolvable riddle, if not necessarily a completely boring one.
Its future-vision gimmickry is flippantly handled, and one can’t reasonably parse
the specifics of the nuclear bomb plot with any more clarity, only that
an oft-mentioned “eight million lives” are hanging in the balance.
Sense is reduced to a greater-than/less-than sign; it’s a simple
cinematic equation you’re being asked to buy into. Cage, meanwhile, looks pensive, and is occasionally charming. Next is a
piece of good-time, eye-catching, desperately of-the-moment entertainment that just happens to be captured in celluloid form. That said, its hold is still awfully loose. For the full review, from FilmStew, click here.