‘Knowing’ Retro Review
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Rose Byrne
Plot: A grieving widow and university professor is having trouble connecting with his son and doesn’t talk to his father and has trouble getting people to listen to his theories and finds a piece of paper with numbers that predict disasters and there’s kids with psychic powers and creepy supernatural stalkers and he has to try and advert disasters and then the end of the world is coming and everyone gets into child abduction like their a new series of Pokemon. And there are aliens.
Review: As you can tell from the plot description, this is a movie that needlessly packs in more plot elements than required for a ten volume book series. This is most likely due to the premise (a man finds some numbers that predict the end of the world) being so thin that it wouldn’t sustain a feather, let alone a full length feature films. The story stutters back and forth like it’s having a seizure without the basic coherence that goes with one.
Focusing the action on a small family unit could have salvaged it a bit, adding some genuine drama to the proceedings, but Nic Cage plays one seriously unlikeable character. When he isn’t acting like a total knob-biscuit to everyone he meets he stands around dejectedly mumbling to himself. He also acts like a complete prick to his son (to be fair the kid is an obnoxious little shit) taking away the one redeeming quality he could have mustered. His parenting skills seem to revolve around lying to the kid to make him shut up, such as during the finale when he outright tells his son that he’ll be with him forever, and so will his dead mother when this blatantly isn’t true.
Nicholas Cage has put in some awful performances of late, but this qualifies as the worst. After atrocious crap like The Wicker Man that really puts into perspective just how bad this is. He switches between standing aroun
d staring like he’s just suffered a stroke and gibbering like a mad man. It’s often said that when Christopher Walken gets a new script the first thing he does is remove all the punctuation. Cage seems to have replaced all the punctuation with exclamation marks.
“Thirty minutes ago there was a woman here! She was screaming! With a kid! He was on your payphone! Nine years old!”
Then there are the moments where it’s clear that he hasn’t read the script and everyone else is confused.
“How’s my nephew?”
“He said he’ll become a vegetarian.”
“You got a problem with that?”
Proyas, who after starting out with films like The Crow and Dark City, seems incapable of directing a film these days. The few powerful images that he concocts, such as a plane crashing into a highway, the world ending and a moose on fire, are lost amid plot holes big enough to stick your head through, pathetic performances and a script that could only be improved by feeding it into a paper shredder. The only consolation is that we know from early on that every single character is going to be completely incinerated by the movies finale, and it does deliver on that count.
Final Score: Score? I’m not giving this fucking movie a score! It doesn’t deserve one.