Knowing DVD Review
1 Disc Widescreen Edition (2009)
Oh boy. Nicholas Cage. *Cracks knuckles* Let’s get down to business.
Knowing was directed by Alex Proyas who has brought us such gems in the past as I, Robot and The Crow so he knows how to tell a mystery story. I thought he did a ok job bringing the movie together, but both the plot and lead actor had some flaws.
The story follows Nicholas Cage’s son gets a piece of paper out of a time capsule that has a series of numbers covering the whole thing. By coincidence, Cage notices a few numbers match up with a date and number of casualties of a news worthy tragedy. Soon he is dissecting the whole sheet like a mad man and looking up every other sequence to match it with another tragic event where lives are lost. It absolutely kills me that he is supposed to be an astronomer/professor/numbers guru and takes sooooo long to consider that the section of numbers at the end of each sequence could be coordinates to the location of the disaster. Why isn’t that his first guess? I thought he was supposed to be genius level. It’s already hard to get past that surfer dude accent so please don’t dumb this down for the audience, we’re all way ahead of you.
This movie is hard to watch only because of Nicholas Cage. There are some movies I have enjoyed him in (City of Angels oddly enough and sometimes Ghost Rider), but all in all he is always playing the same guy with the same surfer voice! The supporting actors don’t and probably can’t make up for this because they aren’t given much to work with. They are solely there for Cage to talk to and think out loud around because he’s in almost every scene.
If you can ignore him, this movie is worth watching for a very small handful of sequences. Get past the boring stuff and watch for a plane crashing beside a highway and people running out of it engulfed in flames! Amazing, terrifying, heart-breaking, and exhilarating all at the same time. There are creepy no-face men stalking Cage’s son and handing out black stones and they give a couple good scares. Anytime there is a special effects destruction scene, it makes it worth sitting through the rest because they look amazing and we all love some good old-fashioned explosions and destruction, don’t we?
I expected this movie to end the way a lot of these destruction movies do but I was pleasantly surprised to see them stay the course and not make up a deux ex machina at the end. I respect that. The plot I blow a raspberry at. The visual effects made me sit up and take notice. I could’ve cut this movie down to 20 minutes tops to see the good parts.
For such a big disaster movie idea and special effects, you’d think the audio commentary with the director would be interested but honestly it was so boring that about two-thirds though I turned it off. He’s a dry, boring speaker and the other person with him has to keep prompting him for general information about the film people might be interested in. There’s a making-of feature that talks about how these actors came to be cast in this film and how the little girl plays two parts. The most interesting part of that feature is showing how the airplane crash sequence was shot. For all you fanatics into doomsday predictions, there’s a feature called “Visions of the Apocalypse” that goes over how accurate the information portrayed in the film is to actual events in time and how ancient people over time viewed the coming of the end of the world and is probably the most interesting extra on the dvd for history buffs.