A Review By Jason L. King
Starring: Nicolas Cage
Directed by: Alex Proyas
Rated: PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language.
Movie Released: 2009
I remember a day when Nicolas Cage used to be cool. Oh those were the days. Back in the summer’s of 1995, 1996, 1997..you know the good old days! You see back in those days it was a much simpler time, movies were about great popcorn flicks full of action and fun, and film makers were not trying to M. Night Shamalamadingdong-a-roo us with twist endings that make little to no sense. (by the way, I’m trademarking that phrase!) The formula went something like this:
Mix 1 part Jerry Brukheimer Production with 2 parts Michael Bay Directing (or a generic brand director will do) 1/4 cup of ridiculous plot and 1 full cup of Nick Cage as a quirky, charismatic, unlikely action star.
The end result was films like Con-Air, Face/Off, The Rock– you know some great old 90’s action. But somewhere along the way, the secret formula stopped working. Maybe it was because the 1/4 script got too ridiculous, or maybe it is because the 1 cup of Nick Cage went bad. Unfortunately, many people believe it was the later.
It was around the time of Matchstick Men that many people began to write off Nicolas Cage. However, he managed to pull off two National Treasure films to win people over again (thanks to the help of his old pal Jerry B.). After that came a slew of bad flicks such as Ghost Rider, Wickerman, Lord of War, Bangcock Dangerous and NEXT. Side note: If your friend ever says let’s watch NEXT, say no. I know it is tempting… It does have Jessica Biel. DO NOT WATCH NEXT. You’ve been warned. Anyhow back from the side note, Cage hasn’t been faring well lately. So I was a bit skeptical when Knowing came out on DVD.
Knowing is the tale of an astrology and math professor who becomes obsessed with the strange list of numbers his son brings home from school. This strange set of numbers were found in a time capsule, written by a strange little girl. Cage’s character begins to find that the numbers seem to coordinate with every major disaster in the last 50 years despite being sealed up in a time capsule all this time. He begins to question if it is just a coincidence or if he can do anything to stop future disasters from happening.
Knowing actually starts out pretty cool. The idea is slightly ludicrous (1/4 strange plot anyone?) has some great car crashes and plane crashes (1 part action anyone?) in it and it keeps you guessing for a while about what exactly is going on. It does draw you into the film for at least the first hour and fifteen minutes. Unfortunately after the hour and fifteen point, you just start to wonder why you are watching this. There are strange ghost like “whisper people” stalking Cage’s son and handing them black river rocks and the plot gets more eccentric from there.
Nicolas Cage under performs in this film, and by under performs, I mean he acts normal. Cage can not be normal. He needs to be crazy and have his nervous ticks and freak out moments. That energy is what makes him a fun actor to watch. Without those elements, he is well… a terrible actor it seems. This watered down Cage leaves Nic Cage fans feeling empty inside. Sadly enough the rest of the film does not do enough to compensate for that emptiness.
I’m sure I could go on for quite some time on why I didn’t like Knowing, but the fact of the matter is, I didn’t like it and wouldn’t highly recommend it to anyone. Now, it is no NEXT which if there was a review on this site for NEXT it would have a F grade, so I can’t give Knowing that low of a rating.
The big question is will this film help cure your case of box office boredom? The answer in a nutshell is No. This recent release will not restore any of your faith in Hollywood and will have you retreating back to older favorites pretty fast. Why watch Knowing when there is so much better stuff available at your rental store or even free online? Skip Knowing.