Knowing (2009)



Dave’s 5-Word Review:
Shut up, I like it.

Not terribly long ago, Nicolas Cage expressed his interest into a remake of Left Behind, one of the most popular Christian stories of all time. There are hundreds and even thousands of other Christian films made that are long lost in the Island of Misfit Films, but if someone was to think about one Christian film that they actually have heard about, Left Behind would often be on the list. Why do I mention that? Because it is relevant. While Knowing is not technically a Christian film, it might as well be. I like to call this a Religious, but Secular movie, which are often times my favorite kinds of stories. Take The Da Vinci Code, or Angels & Demons, two stories that have an amazing amount of religious elements, all of which define the movie…yet it also includes an equal amount of scientific theories for the audience to make up their own mind instead of having a bias tell you what to think. These movies can be seen as more intellectual in a way. It’s almost always intriguing at the least. So how was Knowing?

After five decades of being buried in the ground as part of a school time capsule project, a document is recovered with a sequence of numbers written by a peculiar young girl. This particular sequence of numbers is revealed to list off every major disaster in the last fifty years, the date, number of deaths, and GPS location. At the end of the document was three remaining events yet to unfold, and John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) takes it upon himself to save the day. The problem is that these sequences seem to be a part of fate, fate that no matter what he does cannot change…possibly insisting on a higher power, and that human beings weren’t just found to be living on Earth by random chance and mutation…or it could all just be an oncoming alien attack.

When I first watched this film a few years ago, I remember liking it for a completely different reason. By the end of the film, I realized that this film could satisfy both the religious and nonreligious alike. While I still believe that, I could clearly see the lean towards religion the second time around…it was really quite staggering. I am used to movies about religion being in your face, insisting on them being right, and for you to believe one thing without the freedom to even think about anything else. This movie was realistic…while it had a lot to do with religion, it had realistic foul language that no matter what we do in the real world, can’t escape like folks do in Christian film, had violence, and had some amazing effects.

Visually, I was incredibly impressed after watching the movie. It was actually quite gorgeous to tell the truth. Even the scenes without a bunch of CGI, there was great lighting, great cinematography, and it included classical music as part of the main score, and it worked brilliantly. Was it a bit tacky in regards to Nic Cage? Well, of course! However, I am a fan of the Cage Man, and will watch him in almost anything…regardless of how terrible his stuff is rated.

I liked the element of the sequence of numbers…it’s not really new…but it was clearly borrowed heavily from the idea of Bible Codes, for those that actually remember that conspiracy…I followed the Bible Codes pretty closely, even had a program to search for parts in the Bible that linked with every day events, and it was riveting. That being said, they did their own thing with it, and I can respect that. Nicolas Cage’s character had a clear goal, and even had separate parts to his goal before he actually reached the end…it had a solid plot.

Do critics typically have an issue with this? Yes..why? Well let’s take a look at the general consensus from RT:

“Knowing has some interesting ideas and a couple good scenes, but it’s weighted down by its absurd plot and over-seriousness.”

Absurd plot and over-seriousness? Well that’s just Nicolas Cage for you right off bat, why are you surprised? I accept it, but I have no problem with it, therefore, it doesn’t affect my rating.

One thought on “Knowing (2009)

  1. I have to commend you for defending this title. It was a very good write up of an overlooked and quite unfairly maligned movie. I agree with what you wrote about the way the film looks and how beautifully it was shot. It was one of the things that visually drew me to the story. I also found the story riveting as you put. The end was unconventional and I respected what the film wanted to convey. It had a cool message. Good job, Dave!


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