Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review: Knowing

Grade: D+

Knowing is a sci-fi thriller that starts in 1959 at a brand new elementary school on the east coast. The school comes up with the idea to bury a time capsule to mark the opening of the School. They have all the children in the class draw what they think the future will look like. One mysterious girl frantically writes down a series of numbers, the teacher comes by and picks it up and puts it in the capsule. 50 years later at a ceremony the capsule is dug up and all the envelopes are handed out to the children. The envelope containing the mysterious numbers is given to a boy whose father is an astrophysicist. He looks at the numbers one night and one sequence catches his eye, he looks at it for a while and realizes it is the date of 9/11 and has the exact number of people killed in the attacks. He starts to go through all the numbers and realizes that they are the dates and correct number of people killed in every major global disaster in the last 50 years. There are a few more sequences left that indicate there will be 3 more events in the coming week or so.

This movie had a great premise, with virtually no follow through. There were some exciting moments and the whole mystery around the “whisper people” was intriguing at times, but overall this movie probably just shouldn’t have happened. Here’s why: it’s a great concept as I mentioned before, but the problem is how do you end it? There really is no good way to end it, I’ve been thinking about it for a while and no matter what you do, people aren’t going to like it. I think the movie was pitched as follows: Writer: “I’ve got this great idea. What if this guy finds these numbers in a time capsule or something, that accurately list the date and number of people killed in every major global disaster for, say, the last 50 years. On top of that there are still some numbers left indicating more disasters and the coordinates to where they are.” Producer: “Ok, great idea, but, how do these numbers come to be and how does it all end?” Writer: “Umm… didn’t really think that far, I’ll go home and smoke copious amounts of pot and come up with something” Producer: “Sounds good”.

Again, great concept but no follow through. The ending to this movie was absolutely terrible. I couldn’t believe it. I would love to say more but I don’t feel like spoiling anything for people who haven’t seen it yet and want to. I was so mad, probably one of the dumbest endings to a movie, made even worse by the fact that they tried to pass it off as an amazing twist or something. Horrible.

Anyway, Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider, National Treasure) plays John Koestler, an astrophysicist who believes life is just a random sequence of events until his life is flipped upside down when his son Caleb is handed the envelope with the mysterious numbers on them. Rose Byrne (28 Weeks Later, Sunshine) plays Diana Wayland, the daughter of the mysterious girl who wrote the numbers. The cast was great, especially Nicolas Cage, but it still wasn’t enough to carry the rest of the movie.

Overall, the movie had its moments of action and suspense that were pretty cool and entertaining to watch, but the ending was enough to make you want to rip your hair out. I would recommend this movie only to those who enjoy sci-fi horror/suspense movies and judge the ending for yourself.

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