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  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Shaw)

Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Andrienne Pickering, Chandler Canterbury
RunTime: 2 hrs 2mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Some Intense Sequences and Disturbing Scenes)
Official Website: http://knowing-themovie.com/

Opening Day: 9 April 2009


Academy Award® Winner Nicolas Cage ("National Treasure: Book of Secrets," "Leaving Las Vegas") stars in "Knowing," a gripping action-thriller of global proportions about a professor who stumbles on terrifying predictions about the future and sets out to prevent them from coming true.

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 Caleb Koestler. 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 Ted and his son. When Ted's attempts to alert the authorities fall on deaf ears, he takes it upon himself to try to prevent more destruction from taking place.

With the reluctant help of Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne) and Abby Wayland, the daughter and granddaughter of the now-deceased author of the prophecies, Ted'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.

Movie Review:

How much you like Knowing will depend on how much you are willing to accept its premise. And I’m not talking about the numbers. No, you would believe that you had just stepped into a science-fiction thriller, wondering how it is that someone could have predicted every major disaster on the face of the planet.

But Knowing is only half about that, because the second half of the movie veers into an entirely more terrifying prospect. Indeed, as Nicolas Cage’s character John Koestler finds out, there are only three more natural disasters yet to have happened on the piece of paper his son receives from a time capsule the school buried 50 years ago. What happens at the end of those numbers? I won’t spoil anything else for you, just to warn you that how much you like the movie from that point on depends on your personal convictions.

The thing about Alex Proyas’ Knowing is that it is only disguised as a popcorn-friendly movie. This, however, it certainly is not. Instead, it is designed to be creepy and unnerving. Who are those eerie people in black suits and blond hair that seem to be after John Koestler’s son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury)? What are those voices that we are hearing whispering to Caleb? What is the meaning of those visions and nightmares that Caleb’s been having?

Right after you tell yourself that you’ve seen it all before, Proyas ups the ante by staging two frighteningly real disaster sequences that will have you staring wide-eyed in shock at the screen.- the first involving a plane crash and the second a collision between two underground subway trains. Yes, in both, John Koestler will be present on the scene to witness those terrifying events. And no, nothing he does manages to prevent them from happening.

Herein is what differentiates Alex Proyas’ film from the countless other disaster movies before it. It is calculated to be a thinking man’s movie because it forces you to ask yourself about the very nature of events that happen around us. Is life simply a random series of events, or are things in life determined? It is a question that can be very much unsettling, simply because it hints at how much control we really have over our own individual fates.

And Alex Proyas builds his argument steadily towards the second act of the film when it all begins to make sense. (At least for those who would believe it.) Nevertheless, you have to hand it to director Alex Proyas and his team of screenwriters (Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet Snowden and Stiles White) for their audacity to mount such a bold and daring conclusion, probably knowing fair well how it will polarize their audiences.

Luckily for their bravado then, since Nicolas Cage is surprisingly unremarkable in his role as the MIT professor who stumbles upon the prophecy. Usually the reliable actor, his unfortunate wooden acting fails to allow the father-son bond in the movie to reach the level of poignancy it should. Just as disappointing is Rose Bryne who fails to earn the audience’s sympathy with her petrified act, which unfortunately gets rather grating and annoying especially towards the end.

Rightfully, Knowing is a movie that belongs to its director, Alex Proyas. Science fiction films have always been Proyas’ forte, noted especially for his work on Dark City and The Crow. While Knowing is by no means his best work, it certainly deserves merit for raising some truly thought-provoking questions, even though I suspect that its answer to those questions will not go down well with everyone.

Movie Rating:

(Knowing is no summer popcorn movie- it is a thinking man’s science fiction film, one that has the derring-do to pose and answer its own provocative question)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

. The Invasion (2007)

. Next (2007)

. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

. I, Robot (2004)

. War of the Worlds DVD (2006)


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