Knowing is the latest "sci-fi" film to hit the cinemas, and then repeatedly hit audience members in the crotch to the point that genital mutilation will seem like a day at the park. After the shenanigans director Alex Proyas pulled with I Robot, I truly hoped that he had had his fill of artistic shame. Clearly not. In fact with Knowing, it seems that the man is something of a masochist and out to prove, yet again, that all a movie needs is a famous face, an old theme and a fresh coat of paint. To hell with the incomprehensible plot, to hell with the suspense – we have Nicholas Cage.
Knowing begins when John Koestler’s (Cage) son is given an ominous envelope that was buried 50 years ago in a time capsule. Alas, he did not get a picture of a rocket ship like the other kiddies, instead he gets a series of numbers written on both sides of a piece of paper. Now of course John finds this letter and sees patterns in the numbers, for what he lacks in hair he makes up for in brains. Suddenly the end of the world is nigh. Baton down the hatches, flee for your life - a solar flair will incinerate all things on earth.
I went in thinking Knowing was a sci-fi flick. The truth is that Knowing is a disaster movie dressed in the pretentious dialogue of a movie that thinks it's way smarter than you, interchanged with some other nonsensical sci-fi elements. On one hand we have Cage bounding about trying to save the planet, and on the other hand a host of weird semi-unrelated scenes from an alien movie.
I would have mustered up the energy to try and figure out how it all fits together, but I had already spent a lot of time chewing a large hole in my cheek. I'm sure there will be people who discuss this movie on internet forums and try to debate what the real meaning is. These people are idiots. Knowing doesn’t mean a damn thing, it doesn’t teach us anything, and there is no great underlying mystery, except perhaps that Proyas switched his medication from Zoloft to Paxil.
The storyline is so incredibly contrived that the two hemispheres of my brain felt like they were being held together by Joan Rivers. The result is that you hear the creepy suspense music but it has nothing to do with what is rolling on the screen. There is a religious undercurrent in Knowing that makes less sense than deep fried celery. First of all the ‘angels’ are clearly aliens, though they look like ghosts. Their supernatural powers constitute shining light out of their gaping mouths and whispering to children. In their true forms at the end of the movie, Proyas has a nice lethargic jaunt back to I Robot as the aliens take on almost the exact shape of his previous movie's machines.
If Knowing is really about religion then according to the storyline God is a master pioneer of interstellar space travel, he has a seriously kick ass space ship and enjoys long walks on the incinerated beaches of earth. I’m starting to suspect the scientologists had something to do with this movie. God as an alien? Being incinerated for the good of the world? Sounds like some crack-pot warning that they would give people, and then charge them $3500 for it.
If Proyas and his team have crossed into the scientology inferno then all it proves is that the damn scientologists are taking over Hollywood. We can therefore look forward to more viscous and ultimately globular items of waste being dangled ahead of us in future. And what in their alien god’s name was going on with those black pebbles? The world is in danger, black pebble on the couch. His son is hearing whispers, black pebble on his bed. The leading lady dies, black pebble in her hand. Why the hell do aliens need to leave pebbles everywhere that look like rabbit shit?
Now that I think about it some more, Knowing must be the product of Proyas’ hobnobbing with the cream of the scientology crop in Hollywood. How else could such crazy, maniacal, frenetic crap make it to production level? Now here is the highlight of the movie – everyone dies - except the two kiddies who run off to procreate together in an alien paradise. And this is supposed to be a happy ending, if the music is any clue. A rusty nail in each of my shins would give me more pleasure.
Nonetheless I was not to be driven out of the cinema by the cultish indoctrination, or the increasing distance growing between each neural lobe in my brain. Unfortunately catalepsy had set in by then and all they could find four days later was a small black pebble on my chair, which they later discovered was, indeed, rabbit shit. Which means it had more artistic merit than this movie.
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