RYNE DOUGLAS PEARSON
RYNE DOUGLAS PEARSON
Knowing notes the return of gifted Australian filmmaker, Alex Proyas, who returns after a 5 year absence with a film both large in scope and theme, leaving much to be digested upon its completion.
Nicolas Cage stars as science professor and single father, John Koestler, whose atheistic belief is shaken when a document retrieved from a time capsule buried 50 years ago, is found to have correctly predicted every major disaster of the last 50 years, leaving three catastrophic events left. Believing that he and his son (Chandler Canterbury) have been chosen to play an important role in these events, John attempts to worn mankind of impending doom.
Taking on directing and producing duties, Proyas has gone all out on a film which, unfortunately, will be seen by many as an interesting experiment gone awry, rather than the sci-fi masterpiece it aspired to be.
Themes wise, Knowing is a very heavy film, taking on the eternal collides of science v faith; purpose v randomness. Exactly the type of topics curiously absent from last year’s remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. But where that film suffered from an absence of religious and scientific query, Knowing suffers from an over use of it, as Christian symbolism and sci-fi conventions morph into a confusing bulk of theological/scientific goop.
What is worth watching on the big screen are two incredibly impressive action sequences: the first, a bone rattling, ear splitting plane crash into a packed highway; and second, a similarly well executed train collision, which debuts the use of what will now be affectionately called: “The Runaway Train of Death Cam”.
But while the visual and special effects are on top form, editing and music are not, with several cuts needed during moments that come off as unintentionally campy (mostly due to Cage’s improvised touches), and Marco Beltrami’s ultra serious score which over emotes many scenes.
A mix of Steven Spielberg aplomb, and M. Night Shyamalan concept, Knowing can be an intriguing watch at the best of times, but is mostly an overtly dramatic example of how good ideas can go cockeyed.