28 March 2009

Knowing, a movie review

Genres: Action adventure, fantasy, and science fiction.

Is life totally random and meaningless? Or is there some predestination, and purpose, behind everything?

Knowing, ponders this question. John Koestler (Nicholas Cage) is obsessed with questions of fate versus free will, because his wife died in a hotel fire.

Knowing opens in 1959, centered a time capsule. A troubled child psychic includes a sheet of paper containing what is presumably random numbers.

Fast forward to present day where we have astrophysicist and MIT professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) and his son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), living together. Of course we are now at the 50th anniversary of the burial of the time capsule, and Caleb ends up with the list of numbers penned by the troubled young psychic.

John is drowning his sorrows in whiskey while trying to teach college class, work as a scientist and raise his son. A drunken John — recently widowed — discovers the meaning behind the numbers. They represent every major national tragedy of the last 50 years — the date, the number killed, and the GPS location.

Breaking it down, the numbers challenge John’s belief in the randomness of life, which he holds in contradiction to his father’s theological convictions.

Knowing starts off fairly predictable as John tries to warn people but no one believes him. Meanwhile his son starts to see eerie visions and hear whispers that are somehow connected.

There is a plot point or two that seem a little too convenient, and some familiar elements from other movies we’ve seen before, but the mystery continues to drive things forward until the big twist in the premise is revealed.

Knowing has a compelling premise that's a little suspenseful, it's also a little creepy. The special effects are great! The train and plane scene are impressive! And the spiritual endings is surprising!

It you enjoyed either The Day The Earth Stood Still, or Signs you're sure to enjoy Knowing.
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