Knowing (2009, USA)

I liked the basic idea of “Knowing”: using a message written in numeric code by a young girl–placed in a time capsule– to explain what’s wrong with the world and give the clues to save save it. However the execution was just wrong at every level. Nicolas Cage, the scientist and dad who solves the riddles and saves the world was shone out by the young actors who played the kids. He played too convincingly a tired hapless guy. When it was time to be amazed by what he finds out, he just stayed hapless and tired. As if his souls was not in it. The fatigue feeling of the movie was strengthened by the basic tones of sepia and night shots. This combination was just not bright enough to keep my attention. Cage was over-performed by the young actors who played the kids, both his son and the girl who sent the message 50 years ago.

It wasn’t fully his fault the danger for Earth was also an overused cliché and so was the solution. Worse, the solution had no connection to the rest of the film. It felt like an optional add-on to turn a dead end to a happy end. The fake science used was just as unbelievable, designed to convince only those who have minimal inclination for mathematics.

The special effects looked OK, but there was nothing we haven’t see already at least a few times. The only aspect that was unusual for a major Hollywood production was its unashamed use of Biblical allegory. The saving aliens act as angels and the whole second half of the movie is an immersion of eschatology. It’s a mixture of the stories of Ezekiel, Noah, Adam and Eve all over with a great doze of anticipation, similar to that of the apocalypse. I think the movie should have been called “Believing” and not “Knowing.” You can believe those myths, but cannot know them.


IMDB’s summary: A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son’s elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions — some that have already occurred and others that are about to — that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.


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