Knowing Review

Knowing Review
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Chandler Canterbury
Director: Alex Proyas
Screenplay: Ryne Douglas Pearson & Juliet Snowden and Stiles White
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: M Supernatural themes and disaster scenes
Running Time: 121 Minutes
Released: 26 Mar 2009

Knowing is Everything...

When a professor stumbles on a set of coded numbers, written in 1959 and buried in a time capsule at his sons school, he makes a startling discovery. The cryptic message predicts every major disaster of the past 50 years and holds chilling predictions about future catastrophes... the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale.

Rose Byrne (Troy, Two Hands), Ben Mendelsohn (Australia, Love My Way) and Chandler Canterbury (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) also star in this riveting feature about a fathers desperate battle to save his childand the world.

In Cinemas 26.03.09

the gripping action-thriller of global proportions from Australian visionary Alex Proyas (I, Robot, The Crow)

In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be stored in a time capsule. But one mysterious girl fills her sheet of paper with rows of apparently random numbers instead.

Fifty years later, a new generation of students examines the capsule's contents and the girl's cryptic message ends up in the hands of young. But it is Caleb's father, professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), who makes the startling discovery that the encoded message predicts with pinpoint accuracy the dates, death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster of the past 50 years. As John further unravels the document's chilling secrets, he realizes the document foretells three additional events-the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale and seems to somehow involve John and his son. John's increasingly desperate efforts take him on a heart-pounding race against time until he finds himself facing the ultimate disaster-and the ultimate sacrifice.

My Verdict:
Widower John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) attends a ceremony at his son Caleb's (Chandler Canterbury) elementary school where 50 years previously, a time capsule was buried. Upon opening, Caleb receives an envelope from Lucinda Embry who wrote a series of seemingly random numbers, which was her prediction for the future. John becomes intrigued with this page of numbers and along with the help of an alcohol fed logic; he discovers the numbers are predictions for future disasters, including one for the next day. He traces Lucinda, finding her daughter Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne) instead, who reluctantly helps him use the knowledge of the future as they realise the colossal impending global disaster that is approaching.

Nicolas Cage easily walks through yet another action thriller as John, delivering cheesy lines and single-handedly trying to change the course of history in a desperate race against time. Never stretched, we do at least get to see him shed some emotional tears and he gets to rush about in impossible situations, saving the day like a kind of superhero. Chandler Canterbury is likeable and confident as Caleb, even when some of his scenes seem too forced, which may not entirely be his fault. Rose Byrne appropriately spends most of her screen time looking forlorn but you have to question her character not taking more interest in her mother's predictions.

The special effects are impressive and include a loud and (perhaps?) scary plane crash as well as a major catastrophe on the subway, amongst others. These sequences break the routine of John solving riddles and will keep action fans attention.

The premise of the predicted numbers, whilst not entirely original, is still fun and interesting and for the bulk of the movie it is enough to keep things entertaining. Supernatural themes emerge every now and then, led by a group of whispering 'visitors' who target Caleb, who tease throughout and their relevance is eventually revealed.

Disappointingly, Knowing is ultimately let down by a second-rate shtick finale that seems rushed just because the clock was ticking and it was time to wrap everything up and so the standard book of movie clichés was consulted. Alternative endings could have avoided this and changed what eventually became absurd.

Rating : **

Christina Bruce