Knowing

2009-07-02 17:49
 
Knowing

What it’s about:

Astro-physicist John Koestler’s son happens upon a strange, 50-year-old document containing the dates of every major disaster that has occurred since it was written. When John realises the numbers may predict events in the future, he sets out to prevent a seemingly inevitable loss of lives.

What we thought:


Good old Nicolas Cage. Just seeing his name on the poster tells you a little something about Knowing. Except for those rare occasions when he sets out to re-connect with "real acting" (Adaptation, The Weather Man), Cage spends his time making edge-of-your-seat blockbusters. Like this one.

Knowing sucks us into a paranoid world where major calamities, like earthquakes and plane crashes, appear to be pre-determined. At least, that’s the conclusion that John Koestler (Cage) makes when his son happens on a series of numbers that seem to have correctly predicted many such events.  To make matters worse, and more interesting, an unknown group of people seem to be following them. Knowing blends the killer components of Blockbuster cinema into one, namely disaster, conspiracy and a hint of the supernatural - and does it well.

Cage is suitably spooked as the one who discovers the number phenomenon and father to young Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury), who somehow appears to be involved in the ominous unfolding of events. As usual, he brings his stock selection of frowns and grimaces from his past exploits on the silver screen, but there’s a saying in action cinema that explains this pretty well: "You can’t improve on the Cage. Not in a paranoid disaster thriller, you can’t."

Surely enough, disaster does strike as the numbers predict, and when it does, it’s spectacular. The carnage is thrillingly choreographed, and even seasoned moviegoers might flinch when things go horribly wrong for the first time.

For all that impact, Knowing restrains itself more than the average summer blockbuster. Perhaps because of the budget, perhaps because of an experienced team of writers, it stays well clear of the explosion-a-minute failings of movies like Transformers II and War of the Worlds. Things cook up to a point, in this case with a purpose, from which we get an interesting, brave ending.

One proviso: we are told that Next (2007), also starring Nicolas Cage, features a suspiciously similar "predicting future tragedies" plot. While we can’t comment on that, we can tell you that if you’re not yet tired of Hollywood’s most famous balding actor, Knowing will go down a treat.



An entertaining collision of the conspiracy thriller and the disaster movie. See what we thought of Nicolas Cage’s apocalyptic blockbuster.

JacP 2009/07/03 9:30 AM
I watched Transformers 2 last night...And it was excellent!
Dee 2009/07/03 10:16 AM
cant wait to see this one !!!!!!!!! love the cage
Ray 2009/07/03 10:36 AM
THought it was a good movie overall. didn't like the ending though.
Chris 2009/07/03 11:09 AM
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I'm seconding Ray on this one. It was a very good movie.. up until about 15mins from the end.. It was as if the writers wanted a massive ending, but they had no idea how to make it happen. So instead of writing something worth while, they stuck an old cliche in there. Think Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull...
David 2009/07/03 12:20 PM
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I thought it was a poorly cobbled together plot.Initially it pointed to a psuedo-biblical apocalyptic climax(see refs to angels)but fizzled out to a damp evolutionary squib. There was no continuity with the initial hook. Thumbs down. Don't waste your money.
Sands 2009/07/03 12:25 PM
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Enjoyed the movie untilthe end...then just became unbelieveable, spoilt the whole movie for me
PRESHEN GOVENDER 2009/07/06 4:54 PM
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@JacP you need to buy a GPS because you are lost this is a review for Knowing not Transformers 2
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