Knowing should really be a lot better than it is, the ingredients are there, mysterious numbers predicting disaster, disturbed prophetic children, big budget destruction, biblical undercurrents, the apocalypse and even a bit of scifi. Its all there, but that’s mostly the problem, it’s a bit of a mess.
The concept starts well, kids in 1959 lay down a time capsule, one of those kids writes down a series of numbers that when unearthed in 2009 turn out to be all of the major disasters in the last 50 years, and there’s still a couple left. Nicolas Cage’s kid finds the list and then it’s all on.
Director Alex Proyas (Dark City, I Robot) has his hands full juggling all the styles, one moment, its heavy handed horror, the next a detective mystery, then a disaster movie. It jumps all over the place as the story gets more and more outlandish, making the movie as out of control as some of the disasters. I read that Proyas had developed and rewritten the movie multiple times to move it away from some of the original supernatural themes, its evident here that that’s been the case, in fact, I’d be more interested to see what the original script looked like before they crammed everything possible in.
Still at the end of the day, some of the storyline, as crazy as it gets, is entertaining for a geeky audience. All of the disaster scenes are brutal and impressive. It has that slightly bizarre Proyas touch that you saw in Dark City, and if you enjoy Nicolas Cage being frustrated (which I do, weirdly) then it’ll keep you watching and maybe even leave you thinking about the some of the deeper themes, like religion, losing family and reconciliation.
Reviewed by: Asher Bastion
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury, Adrienne Pickering, Ben Mendelsohn.
Directed by: Alex Proyas.
Genre: Thriller, Science Fiction, Action.
Rating: [M] contains supernatural themes.