‘Knowing’ Suspenseful, Thrilling Yet Unlikely and Familiar

I know what you're thinking. You liked Knowing? Why yes, yes I did. It jumps right into the plot-an MIT agent, played by Nicolas Cage (very, very convincing in this sci-fi/thriller, really holds his own), must stop national disasters from occurring after his son, played by Chandler Canterbury, discovers a slip of paper that tells the date and death toll of events that have occurred and those that have yet to. It opens with a 1959 classroom full of students drawing pictures for the time capsule that they plan to bury and dig up 50 years from now (so, in other words, present day). Lucille, a Ring style looking little girl, is, instead of coloring, writing a series of numbers on a piece of parchment. After her teacher takes the paper away from her, she flees to the gym closet and finishes scratching the rest of the numbers into a door. It's pretty creepy, and gets you revved up for what's going to happen next. Now, 50 years later, Cage's son (who is a dreadfully bad actor, I'm sad to say) Caleb's class is singing at the grand-unloosening of the time capsule that Lucille's class had previously buried. Each class member gets one of the drawings that the 1950-era students have made for them-except for Caleb. He receives the mysterious numbers that were sketched out by the psychotic child. Soon, Cage's character notices the 9/11 disaster: "9110127500", written on his son's finding. September 11, 2001. Death toll-2, 7500. Spooky. Knowing is directed and produced by Alex Proyas, who also wrote/directed the cult classic Dark City and directed the Will Smith futuristic action flick I, Robot.

I was thinking to myself throughout the entire film-this kid (Cage's son) is the most depressed thing I have ever seen. His dad's become a depressed alcoholic since his mother passed away (typical scenario), and he doesn't really pay attention to him or show any emotion at all. And get this-his dad actually tells him that Heaven doesn't exist! Who would you do that to a kid, let alone your own son?

The special effects were very cool (the plane crash scene especially). They're very realistic, and all in all a sight for sore eyes. The level of special effect greatness is not among those films such as Michael Bay's Transformers and Peter Jackson's King Kong, but they still leave your mouth ajar. They are similar to Steven Spielberg's sci-fi remake War of the Worlds, though. The explosions, the flames-very much the same. Very much awesome. Speaking of movies like Knowing, I was also reminded of The Sixth Sense. Caleb claims that these "people" whisper to him. I was just waiting for the horrible child actor to say to Cage "I see dead people."

The story isn't all that original; I was reminded of M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening almost entirely. A teacher who tries to stop the world from entering apocalyptic doom. Bor-ing. Maybe, but that doesn't mean that Knowing wasn't a good flick. Sometimes, it does, however. Recall David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button constantly being compared to Robert Zemeckis's Forrest Gump? I found the entire journey to stop the sun from flaming into the Earth's ozone layer to be highly suspenseful and very enjoyable. So enjoyable, in fact, that you forget that the movie is nearly 2 hours long (well, 2 hours and 2 minutes long to be exact).

Despite Canterbury's lousy performance (seriously, he ruins every great scene he's in) and an odd, biblical ending that tones down your feeling towards the plot, Knowing is a spectacular way to get lost in a War of the Worlds-y apocalypse swirling with explosions and pretty sweet special effects. Nicolas Cage gives his all, and it gives Proyas another movie to be braggadocios about.

3/5 burgers.

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