Knowing

Released: March 20, 2009
Budget: $50 million
US Box Office: TBD
Global Box Office: TBD

Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, some other people

Synopsis: An MIT professor worries about the apocalypse but can't do much about it.
Best Quote: "Like, a math puzzle or something"

Review: 1.5 stars

If the existence of this site hadn't done it already, this review will likely reveal my inner nerdiness. You see, I love numbers and I love puzzles. I love them both enough that when I see a preview for a movie involving numbers or puzzles I get excited. Invariably, I'm disappointed when I find out the movie wasn't made for number lovers.

Jake Gyllenhaal's Zodiac was one such disappointment and Knowing happens to be another. The mystical sequence of prophetic numbers from the preview turns out to be (very minor spoiler alert) just a bunch of dates with no punctuation. 09112001 stands for 09/11/2001. 2974 stands for 2,974. Oooo scary...

For those of you who don't like numbers or didn't see the Knowing trailer, I apologize for boring you for the first half of this review. As a disaster movie, Knowing is straightforward and entirely skippable. Since the impending disaster is decidedly unavoidable, we are left wondering who were supposed to be rooting for. I badly needed an ensemble cast banding together to fight for something bigger than themselves, but what I got was a confused Nicolas Cage wondering what to do.

The one unexpected highlight of the film is the creepy albino clan wandering around. It's funny to me that a disaster film I didn't really enjoy would have some pretty legit scary sequences. That was a pleasant surprise, as was a destruction of Manhattan that visually ranked quite well against the millions of other Manhattan destructions out there.

In short, you can take or leave this one. Just don't rent it looking for inspiration (or a sweet alpha-numeric cipher).

Disaster movie bonus: 10 points to whoever can spot the extreme Deep Impact ripoff in this film. Answers below:







Answer: protagonist who had long been estranged with his/her parent has an emotional reconciliation at the parent's home as the two face an apocalyptic tidal wave and greet a death they have come to terms with. Deja vu anyone?