Next, an entertaining spectacle of the highest production standards. It's really well-made and got good acting from all participants, especially Julianne Moore and Tory Kittles, the lead detective and her sidekick. I just wish Thomas Kretschmann wasn't there. He's just not interesting. At least not here.
There's great but brief visual effects, great cinematography, and production design. And there's also the most romantic moment in movie memory ("definition of beauty" scene which nearly soaked me in tears) and the most painful moment so far this year ("explosive execution" scene which nearly soaked me in tears, too). Such powerful emotions are rare as are such movies, reminding me of the spectacular The Island (compelling, "never-before-told" storyline, superb action and visuals, superb camerawork, beloved romantic interest, fearsome villains, ...).
I should not neglect to credit Nicolas Cage for leading the entire cast without a flaw, and it's amazing that he still manages to maintain his star after all these years. Also, in comparison with The Island, he gives a more interesting character than Ewan McGregor's.
I should also not neglect crediting The Island as a superior movie for:
- it got a better story (Next's nuclear bomb story is overkill, and the villains' acts are left unjustified)
- it's a greater spectacle (nothing in Next beats its chase sequence, though the falling debris comes close).
One last note is that Next seems to have been inspired by David Fincher's Se7en (Fincher's sort of beautiful, dark and brownish camerawork, and the scene in which cars are coming from underground parking, short in a hectic pace as in to signify the urgency of their mission, and the upward-moving end-credits).