KNOWING is the type of film that
will be dissected for years to come by several movie essays discussing the issues and plot.
Alex Proyas is that type of director where his films hold some underlying current of ideas beneath and above the surface
whether it is DARK
CITY or I, ROBOT. KNOWING is
a well paced sci-fi thriller. It is just let down by not having a great resolution
(great doesn’t always mean you need a happy ending- just an ending that pacts more of a punch with better writing). The ending of KNOWING just rubs me the wrong way. I have no problem with the big reveal about what is going to happen.
KNOWING starts 50 years ago as a
class of elementary school kids decide to do drawings about the future to be buried into a time capsule to be opened up in
50 years. One girl, Lucy, decides to write a series of numbers that threaten
to drive her mad. It is taken away from her be the teacher before she can
finish. She disappears at the dedication of the school only to be found
later scratching more numbers into a school door with her fingernails.
Flash forward to 2009 where Professor John
Koestler (Nic Cage) is a boozing MIT professor who doesn’t believe in God anymore after his wife was killed in a fire
leaving him a single Dad. He comes to the school that buried the time capsule. The capsule gets opened up and John’s son, Caleb, gets the mysterious list of
numbers. Caleb doesn’t put it back in the capsule. John notices it at home. He starts to obsess over it and the
sets of numbers tie to disasters by date, location, and number of victims. John
notices a few that have happened yet. He gets wrapped up in trying to save
people and discovers something bigger is about to happen.
KNOWING is like a M. Night Shyammalan film
that is actually decently directed and a better script (except the ending). KNOWING
isn’t without it’s faults (where they could have played up the relationship between John and his minister father
more). Still the main flaw is the ending which I will discuss now and you
can click away if you don’t want to be spoiled.
How the strangers who whispers to
Professor Koestler’s son, Caleb, decide to act is what disturbs me about the ending?
It comes off as The Rapture meets Close Encounter of the Third Kind. To
me if humanity was going to be burned by a solar flare, I wish the aliens (aka the Whisper People) would have chosen more
than two of each species like Noah’s Ark.
What about human culture? It will become myth and be forgotten. The way Koestler decides to give up his son just upsets me. If
I was a father, I would tell the aliens to take me with the kids or kill me. I
don’t care if it is useless. It’s human. If the Whisper People knew of the disaster years before, they should have been taking some people
away whether they heard the call or were the chosen ones. Don’t get
me started on the kids being dropped off on an alien world in new clothes and decide to happily run to a tree in the middle
of the meadow while all the alien ships take off? Up to that point, I thought
all of the alien ships meant more than two of each species were saved. The
ending just comes off as bad after Koestler decides to be with the rest of his family before the solar flare burns up the
Earth. I wasn’t asking for a way to save the planet from a massive
solar flare. I just was looking for better resolution to the ones who survived
to be taken to a new world (and not just two kids). I really thought the solar
flare of doom and the chaos that ensues was a good idea to tackle. Just
how the Whisper People tie in was poorly executed. Other than the ending that
threatens to make people groan, KNOWING is a film that could have been a classic if it wasn’t for the flaws in the ending.
This movie review is (c)3-26-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send
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