Knowing, directed by Alex Proyas, is yet another disaster/end-of-the-world movie starring Nicolas Cage who plays an MIT professor by the name of John Koestler. After his son receives a mysterious encoded letter that precisely maps out every past and forthcoming natural & artificial disaster, John Koestler goes on a journey to determine its origin and contemplate upon the contested philosophical issue of randomness vs. determinism.
This was an awful movie. Period. I feel like Hollywood has killed this genre through its release of similiar titles such as Independence Day: Resurgence, Twister, Dante’s Peak, and Armegeddon, to name a few. Knowing is no exception. We are treated to a “barrage” of overacting from the two main leads of the film; Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne, to the point that I was forced to mute the movie and just read off the subtitles. Cage’s performance in particular was a lowlight; drawing inspiration from some of his other underwhelming performances such as in Ghost Rider and Matchstick Men. There’s something else about Cage’s character; he’s an awful parent. This is evident through him thinking that it was a good idea to leave his (ten or so year old?) son in the back a car, AT MIDNIGHT, IN THE MIDDLE OF A FOREST. Oh yeah, did I mention his alcoholism?
Furthermore, the plot of Knowing is unpredictable but in a negative way. It goes to absurd and unprecedented directions in a desperate attempt to woo audiences. The script of this film feels like a series of impulse ideas and decisions made by the writing team, without giving those ideas so much so as a second thought. Also be prepared to a few predictable jump-scares. I cannot fathom why the writers chose to include these; this isn’t a horror movie. In some ways, the script reminded me of a bad M Knight Shyamalan movie such as The Happening or The Village. The CGI in this movie is also shockingly average, even for 2009 standards. This is surprising, considering its 50 million USD budget. To any of you, planning to watch this movie, please also note that nothing really happens in the first 20 minutes, so y’all can just skip over that.
To sum up, I wouldn’t recommend watching this film. It is a disappointing addition to an already dying genre. Though it had an intriguing premise, the execution just wasn’t there. The performances and CGI also just weren’t there.