Are You Missing out on Knowing?
Perhaps you were avoiding the Alex Proyas film Knowing because the trailers made it appear to be a generic Hollywood disaster flick, or maybe you were afraid of another bizarre performance from it’s leading man. Whatever the source of your reluctance, I’m here to tell you that this film is anything but generic, and hardly Tinseltown’s normal action-adventure fare.
The film starts out simply enough, with a time capsule containing a young student’s drawings being buried at an elementary school, to be opened and distributed to the students of the same school 50 years later. But when one widower’s son receives a long string of numbers in lieu of a drawing, it’s soon discovered to be a list of fatal disasters, nearly all of which have already occurred since the list was created. The last few, however, will occur within days.
Given the relentlessly-expanding scope of the film’s events, Nicolas Cage — as the widower uncovering a potential prophecy of doom — was given plenty of room to react to extraordinary events that unfolded around his character. The people with whom he interacts provide a ballast that never let him or the film get too quickly out of hand. Even the child actors are calm and reasonable — as they can only be in films — yet still retain enough of their innocence and wonder to weather the increasingly improbable events that occur.
The trend of late is for the marketing teams to underplay or hide altogether the fantastic elements of movies — The Last Mimzy‘s extraterrestrial origin being one such example — and Knowing is the latest victim of this trend. Theists and Humanists alike will be challenged by the events of this film, but its ultimate message is irrefutable: the only certainty we have is that our future rests in the hands of our children.
Written by Jeff in May of 2009. Last edited July 2021.