Next is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. I love Philip K. Dick, his books represent everything that is good about science fiction. Ordinary men (always men, his one weakness is that he can’t do female characters) end up being put in extra-ordinary situations.
The settings are mostly bizarre dystopias full of crazy wars or absurd revolutions. Many of the secondary characters will have strange and peculiar abilities that often involve time travelling mental illness and inter-dimensional drugs (Dick suffered from mental illness and was involved in the drug scene). His stories are always dark and edgy, full of political satire and highly anti-authoritarian themes. Dick was obsessed with identity, control, and betrayal and how they related to social structures. His deep philosophical and psychological ideas combined with his rich and imaginative word has given him the title of “the father of modern science fiction” (many of the novels lay the ground work for cyberpunk, but in fact are superior to the books that followed his). I guess I should stop talking about Philip K. Dick and start reviewing Next, but I don’t want to, because Philip K. Dick is so fucking cool and Next is so fucking bad. Which brings me to this question: Why has no one been able to translate this brilliant writer’s many great books into a film worthy of him? Okay, Bladerunner and Total Recall are good films in their own way, but not in a Philip K. Dick way. Two of his best novels have already been screwed up, I’m not sure if I can handle the same thing happening to Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said and Ubik. So in conclusion, Next is bad in every way a film can be.
By Stephen Hay