Sunday, 10 May 2009

Knowing (I wish I didn't)

I finally went back to the cinema after what seems like ages away (3wks!) to see Knowing.  I will be honest - we went to see Knowing solely for the purpose of making fun of it.  Knowing couldn’t even be bad properly.

Watching the teaser trailer will pretty much sum up the entire plot for you, as is expected with all Nicolas Cage movies.  Man find page with numbers.  Numbers mean something. Man tries to find out what the craic is.  Man is thought to be crazy.  Man is correct - haha to the doubters.  Just swap “page with numbers” to “map” and you have the exact same synopsis for two of Nicolas Cage’s other blockbusters *sarcasm* 

Knowing starts off with the most boring credit sequence in the history of film.  Just a few names over a weird overly ominous score.  We then get a bit of back-story as to the origins of the numbers.  Turns out some creepy kid wrote them for a time capsule which will be dug up in fifty years.  The children, whether they lived fifty years ago or in the present day were far to excited about the time capsule.  If this was the movies version of reality then I knew were in for a tough evening 

Once the back-story finishes we are then treated to another boring credit sequence.  This time we got the ominous score and the names going over what can only be described as someone messing about on Google Earth from a computer with as crappy an internet connection as mine.  

We are introduced to Nic Cages character John and his son Caleb.  Nic Cage apparently lectures at MIT but he, his class and the audience have no clue what he is rambling on about.  The only thing that is clear is that EveRy SinGle SyllABle Must BE ProNounced when he teaches.   At home he and his son are dealing with the upsetting loss of their wife and mother who has be deceased for almost a year - long enough for wallpaper to peal of the walls, the garden to become overgrown and the house to decay at a rapid pace.  Its clear who took care of the upkeep and maintenance of Casa De Cage.

The film maker doesn’t drag out the time capsule story for too long and this I honestly thank him for. Caleb gets the page with the numbers and John, who is on the steady slope towards alcoholism which translates into grieving, finds the page and within seconds sees that the numbers are predicting all major disasters from the last fifty years.  If you think it appears ridiculous reading that  you should see the scene where John has to explain it to his MIT guy, who I don’t think even had a name.

The plot as awful as it is moves on and we meet Diane and her daughter Abbie, who like Caleb is beginning to hear whispers.  Diane is also the daughter of the creepy kid who wrote the numbers.  They serve no purpose plot wise whatsoever although Rose Byrne does get praise for the most hysterical performance of the year so far - she was one frantic cry away from “wont somebody please think of the children”.  Then she dies.  The audience is pleased.

Whilst all the number excitement is going on there are four weird guys, who can only be described as the Pet Shop Boys and Spike from Buffy’s strange love children, are stalking John and his son.  They are pretty creepy for the first few times we see them but then their constant staring and seriousness becomes unintentionally funny.

They finally kidnap the two kids and we are all grateful as we realise we are heading towards the end.  We follow John as he chases after them into an overgrown wood, he calls frantically for the return of the his son, who appears out of nowhere holding a big white bunny.  Abbie also appears holding a bunny of their own.  Turns out the four “Spike Shop Boys” gave them the bunnies as a gift and they are all going with them to be safe.  I forgot to mention that the sun is going to flare out and kill us all.  That is the last thing that the numbers predicted. I bet John wishes he wasn’t so enthusiastic about deciphering the numbers now.

Anyway it turns out John cant go as he cant hear the whispers.  Then all of a sudden a big spaceship appears, the four guys literally melt into green aliens and as Nicolas Cage drops to his knees in an over dramatic fashion in disbelief the audience nearly starts to cry along with him.  The four aliens, who have very obvious Angel Wing type shadows, two kids and two bunnies all go off into space as the earth dies, taking poor John along with it.

We do  get a “nice after earth is destroyed” scene with the two kids in white clothes running through a CGI corn field towards a big CGI tree which I am assuming is supposed to represent the tree in the Garden of Eden.  Or something. By that stage I think I slipped into shock at the sudden, and unexpected introduction of aliens.

The movie was awful. The entire cast was awful.  The acting was awful.  The script was awful. I want to meet the person who wrote the alien ending, shake him by the neck and as “Why?”

I will admit though that the two set pieces - the plane crash and the subway crash, both of which used the ever-present threat or terrorism to cheaply to try and make it relevant where actually quite good.  They perhaps overdone the victims burning alive in front of the camera a tad to much but we were treated to some fantastic Cage overacting during the crashes and him trying to emote afterwards which almost makes it worth it.

I would give the movie 3/10.  It gets the points for the two set pieces.  It loses the rest of the points for everything else being so awful.  It has topped the box office and that is due to the appearance of Nicolas Cage - an actor who has been living on borrowed time, phoning in the same old performance for years now.  Even playing the always fun game of watching his wig, his weird elbow powered run or his genuine inability to act isn’t fun any more and that is the saddest thing about the whole movie.

One thing that will keep me awake at night is the bunnies!  What is the significance of the bunnies?!

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