“Knowing” is the new Sci-fi thriller from director Alex Proyas (Dark City, I, Robot). A thriller that, unfortunitely, doesn’t live up to it’s promise we witness in the first hour of the film.
It stars Nicolas Cage, who, to be kind, is really mailing-it-in these days, and is on quite a cold streak with recent fare like “Wicker Man”, “Next”, and “Bangkok Dangerous”. Unfortunitely, his performance here is no different.
Cage stars as Professor of Astrophysics at MIT, John Koestler. He is a depressed, widowed father to his young son, Caleb(Chandler Canterbury). At Caleb’s school, a time capsule from exactly 50 years earlier is opened from the ground infront of the school. It contains the drawings and precitions of children from 1959. But the strange sheet Caleb gets is far from a child’s drawing: Just rows and rows of numbers. We see in the opening, the numbers are written by a strange girl named Lucinda.
Koestler discovers these numbers contain every tragic event from the last 50 years. Except for 3 events, which have not yet occured. His discovery, is of course initially scoffed at by colleague and close friend Phil Beckman (Ben Mendelsohn), a cosmologist.
The numbers lead Koaestler to Diana (Rose Byrne), the daughter of Lucina, and Abby,Diana’s Daughter, and Lucinda’s Granddaughter (Linda and Abby are both played by Lara Robinson).
The first half of “Knowing” plays out like a 50’s sci-fi flick. It also shares similarities to M.Night Shyamalan’s “Signs”, especially concerning the lead characters, as both men have lost their wives,their faith, and are raising young children alone.
There are some suspenseful and stylish scenes Proyas creates, such as a stunning plane crash sequence which catches the viewer offguard. It’s too bad the strong first half makes way to a very silly second half. Without going into spoilers, the plot developments late in the film are simply not necessary. The film would have been betterleft in a different direction than the resolution provides. The final scene ultimately is one that is far too familar with sci-fi films and offers the viewer nothing they have not seen before.