The fate of our world hangs in the balance. One man is trying to save our planet from destruction. The President? Superman? No, an astrophysics professor from MIT!!! I know this may not sound like gripping cinema, but Knowing directed by Alex Proyas’s (I, Robot) and staring Nicolas Cage, is pretty exciting until its ludicrous ending.
The movie opens at an elementary school in Massachusetts in 1959. The school has decided to create a time capsule that will not be opened for fifty years. While the other students draw pictures of what they think the future will look like, Lucinda Embry (Lara Robinson) writes nothing but numbers all over her paper. When the time capsule is opened 50 years later, Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury, The Curious Case on Benjamin Button) gets Lucinda’s envelope. At first Caleb and his father John (Cage), the professor, think little about the strange paper. Then one night John decides to try to figure out if the numbers have any meaning. When he finally unlocks the secret, he discovers that the numbers are the dates, death toll and locations of every disaster that has occurred in the world over the last 50 years. There are 3 events that have not yet occurred with the last event effecting everyone on the planet. John sets out to stop the events before they happen and gets help from Lucinda’s daughter Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne, 28 Weeks Later) in trying to save mankind from the final crisis. While trying to save lives, John also must deal with a mysterious group of men, known as “the whisper people”, that keep showing up around his house. They whisper only to Caleb and Diana’s daughter Abby (also played by Lara Robinson) and vanish whenever John sees them.
Proyas and the writing staff of Ryne Douglas Pearson (Mercury Rising), Juliet Snowden and Stiles White (both of Boogeyman) create a suspenseful and intriguing motion picture. Who are “the whisper people”? What are the final 3 events? Can John stop the accidents before they happen? The special effects help add to the tension of the film. They are not overdone, until the ending, and they help compliment the story. Nicolas Cage brings an engaging intensity to his role and Chandler Canterbury shows real promise as a young actor to watch in the future.
Then comes the ending to an otherwise compelling movie. What a letdown! The ending is one of the worse I’ve seen in a long time. We find out who “the whisper people” are. Dumb! We see what the solution is to the final event. Ridiculous! The writing team wrote an stirring beginning and an absurd ending. You’ll leave the theater thinking, ” I sat there for 2 plus hours for that!! What a waste!! What a stupid ending!!” It is like winning a date with a supermodel, showing up at the restaurant, finding out the model couldn’t make it and now your date is Rosie O’Donnell or Jonny Fairplay, the lying-blond haired jerk from Survivor.
Just so you know, you’ll enjoy most of Knowing, but the finish will leave you thinking, “What the heck??????”