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Tuesday
Mar172009

Knowing

The other half is actually getting through this mess. Knowing is yet another film in a long line of poor script choices by Nicolas Cage. The man who started out as a promising actor carving a niche out for himself by starring in great films such as Face/Off and Con Air has devolved into a joke. I have a theory. Cage picks his scripts based entirely on the premise without actually reading them through to the end. Ghost Rider was about a man who sold his soul to the devil and was forced to capture evil souls and take them to Hell. Great premise, poor execution. Next was about a man who could see two minutes into his own future and was propositioned by the FBI to help avert a nuclear disaster. Great premise, poor execution. And now this.

Knowing begins fifty years ago where an elementary school class is drawing pictures to put in a time capsule with the idea that a class fifty years in the future will reopen it. Flash forward to the present day and the pictures that were drawn for the time capsule are being handed out to the new kids. Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) gets one with a long sequence of numbers. His dad John (Nicolas Cage) deciphers it and finds out that it has detailed every major disaster that has ever taken place, right down to when and where they happened. Some leftover numbers suggest that future catastrophes will take place, so John attempts to figure out the puzzles and save the world. Great premise, poor execution.

Knowing is part disaster movie, part action, part sci-fi, and all stupid. It's one of those movies that never reaches a level above average. At some points, it's merely tolerable, but what really makes it one that I simply cannot recommend is that there's never a "Wow, this is awesome" moment. I was on board for the first 20 or 30 minutes (although barely so), but my God, this film became more and more trite as it went on.

While the silly story was certainly at fault for much of that, it's hard to explain why without ruining key parts. Luckily for me, there were other factors contributing to its overall inferiority. For starters, the acting was lackluster. One thing any film needs to ensure some level of believability is good performances, but Nicolas Cage really brings this baby down. While he's fine when not expressing emotions, scenes that called for sadness or fear were downright laughable. He lent no authenticity to what was already a pretty implausible movie.

However, I may be a bit too quick to jump on the "Nicolas Cage sucks" bandwagon. With some of the dialogue he was forced to recite, it isn't surprising to see the quality of his acting turn out so poor. Late in the movie, one character was expressing how ironic it was that she had attempted to keep her child as safe and secure as possible and now it will be for nothing due to the impending catastrophe. She remarks, "It's so stupid." I thought she had read my mind because by this point, those words echoed my sentiments exactly.

Of course, it has a few other minor problems like bad pacing and poor special effects that further harm the film, but I can't point out every negative now can I? Like the title suggests, the movie is all about knowing. I wish I would have known what I know now because I now know that Knowing is not necessary to know.

That last line was more clever than anything in this movie.

Knowing receives 1.5/5

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