Even children know that the laziest way to end any sort of creative writing project is the old classic “and then I woke up, and it was all a dream”. With that in mind, you can only imagine how audiences felt when the final scene of 2007 sci-fi action thriller Next unfolded in front of their very eyes.
Nicolas Cage has one of his many bad hair days in the lead role as Cris Johnson, a magician who has the ability to witness events several minutes before they happen, a gift he squanders on being a street-level carny. However, his skills are put to the test when he’s enlisted by a federal agent to try and prevent a terrorist plot that threatens to culminate in a nuclear detonation on the streets of Los Angeles.
It’s a decent setup, and the $78 million provides the scope for some splashy visuals and stylish set pieces, and we haven’t even mentioned the talent likes of Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, and Julianne Moore in supporting roles. And yet, Next opted to torpedo any goodwill it had cultivated by ending on a whimper as opposed to a bang, effectively rendering any investment on the part of the viewer completely and utterly obsolete.
It may not have been a huge factor, but word of that shaky third act may have caused Next to dip at the box office, when you consider it failed to even recoup its budget from theaters. However, Prime Video subscribers clearly haven’t heard about the finale that pissed off fans 15 years ago, at least if we’re basing our findings on the platform’s global watch-list.
Per FlixPatrol, Lee Tamahori’s misjudged attempt at trying to subvert expectations has become one of the streaming service’s top titles, and even sits in eighth place on the charts in the United Kingdom. Not one of Cage’s best, but strangely not his worst, it’s just kind of… there.