Oh Nicholas Cage, you wily rascal you. You have made some great movies in your time, but you’ve also made a whole bunch that I’ll be talking about for the next few weeks here in Matt Watches Bad Movies in what I’m calling my Nic-Cage-A-Thon!
Next, made in 2007, is based on a Philip K. Dick story, which is kind of amazing because it’s so bad when Philip K. Dick stories are usually so good. Then you find out how much they changed it all makes sense. Coles notes version of that story is that they changed basically everything except the ability to see into the future, which they also changed from being able to foresee the outcome to decisions.
So calling it “based on a Philip K. Dick story” makes as much sense as calling it “based on that book Snooki wrote”.
Next starts in Las Vegas where Nic –I’ll be referring to him as Nic for all of these, because they clearly take place in the same bizarro universe– is a shitty magician. But wait, it’s just an act, he’s a shitty magician to hide the fact that he can see 2 minutes into the future.
I’m not going to make a sex joke with that. Too easy.
At Nic’s show is gorgeous ginger government agent. She has figured out that he has some weird powers and is trying to figure it out. Nic goes from the show to a casino where they immediately think he’s counting cards. He figures out that they are coming for him, fucking tips them off by looking right at a camera, and leaves the table.
He’s able to escape because he’s in a casino and there’s tons of other people around to hide behind, and also the security team is full of idiots. He even steals some poor guy’s hat! Jackass! He gets to the cashier and has a vision of the most conveniently timed robbery in history (also, who robs a casino in vegas by taking a gun to the cashier? That makes no sense) stops it, has a standoff with casino security, and leaves.
Then he just walks out of the casino and steals a car to make his getaway. Note, to this point he’s technically done nothing illegal. Except stealing that hat. And hitting that guy. Anyway, he leaves and the police are there to chase him immediately. He makes zips in and out of traffic knowing what’s going to happen and then at the last second tries to get across some train tracks before a speeding train goes by but gets creamed by it instead AND THE MOVIE IS OVER YAY!!
Oh wait, that was a vision. Now we see literally exactly the same things happen except this time he beats the train. But he didn’t do anything different. He just made it this time. Ugh.
He drives the stolen car into his own fucking garage and then has a pretty forced conversation with Columbo, who is his father? Uncle? Manservant? It’s not really clear, but since Columbo is only in this one scene it doesn’t really matter. More on that later.
Gorgeous Ginger Government Agent shows up and they talk and then that turns out to be a vision too and he leaves before she shows up. The whole vision thing is getting really annoying.
He makes it to a diner where, at 8am he orders a martini and waits for 12 year old Jessica Biel. Apparently he’s had some vision that’s “way beyond the usual 2 minutes” about her.
Not turning that one into a sex joke either.
She walks in followed by her douchebag boyfriend. Nic goes through several iterations of trying to figure out how to make this underaged girl like him and it turns out the winning try is letting the boyfriend punch him in the face. I kind if wish the boyfriend would stick around to do that more, but he doesn’t. He leaves because of, you know, reasons.
So Nic and Baby Jessica make a connection and she offers him a ride (again, no sex joke) and they end up at a motel together where they totally have a moment and then have sex, which should be a joke since he looks like he’s about 50 and she looks 12, but isn’t. It happens. Mostly off screen thank dog.
In the morning Gorgeous Ginger Government Agent has a big plan to get Nic but he jumps off a cliff instead, and then does a dramatic turn to the left to avoid a sniper bullet, and then saves her life.
In return, she puts him in a chair in a windowless room with clamps holding his eyes open and networks news on TV. Cruel and unusual punishment, I think they call that. He sees ahead to the terrorists…
Oh yeah, there’s terrorists after him too, did I mention that? Not that it matters, they are even more inept than the government in this film. They have a nuke and they want to use it, Gorgeous Ginger Government Agent is trying to stop them and that’s why she’s been after him. This is actually a pretty big plot point, but it literally doesn’t matter, and I’ll tell you why in a moment.
So he fast forwards to the terrorists killing Young Jessica and he agrees to help without the clamps.
From this point it becomes pretty much “SWAT team taking directions from Nic” as he guides them in fighting the terrorists. They save the girl and go to the docks where there is a huge shoot out and then just when you think the day is safe Nic says “oh no I made mistake! I MADE A MISTAKE!” and the bomb goes off and everyone s killed and the movie ends.
Except then we’re back at the motel with him and Young Jessica in bed still. Remember how he lasts longer with her than with anyone else? Well he can see farther into the future with her too (ok, I had to do it once, sue me).
He walks outside and meetsGorgeous Ginger and they ride off to fight the terrorists and the movie actually ends.
Pretty much the only thing this movie has going for it is Jessica Biel (who is, as usual, gorgeous) and Julianne Moore (who can do basically no wrong) but even they are hampered by the utterly ridiculous script. Nic Cage is at his lazy best here, delivering lines with energy that ranges from “asleep” to “casually disinterested”.
Hell, I left out a major plot point and it didn’t matter because in the end the whole movie is a big feint anyway. They could literally have gone back to frame one and … well that would have been a little less annoying actually, just end the movie by starting from scratch. And what was the point of Columbo being there? He wasn’t in peril to give Nic motivation and they didn’t come back to him at the happy ending, he was just there because they needed a reason to delay Nic for a few minutes.
Pointless. Just like the rest of the movie.
Be sure to check back next week when the MWBM Nic-Cage-A-Thon continues. What am I watching? Well, don’t put your guesses in a time capsule, there’s a perfectly good comment form to use.
Rating: 2/10 (1 for Jessica Biel, 1 for Julianne Moore, 2 for Philip K. Dick, -2 for Nicholas Cage)
Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to tell me about it in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81