Knowing (2009)
Knowing (2009)

Genre: Sci-Fi Drama Running Time: 1 hr. 55 min.

Release Date: March 20th, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Alex Proyas Actors: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury, Lara Robinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Nadia Townsend, Adrienne Pickering

 


 

E

ven if “Knowing” didn’t divide itself between supernatural thriller and mind-bending sci-fi, there’s still the simple fact that the plot is hinged around a predicament so overwhelming that its conclusion can’t possibly resolve itself satisfactorily – at least not to those unwilling to accept possibilities far outside the reality presented. The amount of contentment derived by the finale is subjective, of course, but the majority of the film feels focused on setting the groundwork for a more linear mystery. At least director Alex Proyas’ expert grasp on building suspense and crafting creatively tension-filled catastrophes helps to ease the more psychologically jarring bits.

During an elementary school “time capsule” project, troubled young girl Lucinda opts to write down a string of seemingly random numbers instead of the expected crayon drawings of flying cars and spaceships. Fifty years later, the capsule is unearthed and Lucinda’s cryptic scribbles are given to Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), the son of science professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage). When Koestler discovers that the numbers are actually a code that pinpoints the exact day, coordinates, and death toll of every major disaster for the last five decades, he begins a desperate hunt for clues to help aid him in a quest to stop the final few numbers’ ominous predictions of tragedy from coming true.

Director Alex Proyas certainly has a taste for science-fiction and nightmarish fantasy. “Knowing” presents itself as a psychological thriller, but early on delves into supernatural terror. If that isn’t enough to rattle audiences, the leap to extreme sci-fi concepts later on might be too much to handle. Although the ideas are outlandish, it’s the mix of genres that is likely to disappoint viewers getting wrapped up in the nail-biting suspense.

And suspense is the most plentiful aspect in “Knowing.” A shocking plane crash, a devastating subway derailment, and much more are done with such attention to horrifying detail, fierce white-knuckle thrills, and ear-piercing boisterousness (or the tried-and-true fear of loud noises) that admiring the film for its intensity isn’t the least bit difficult. Whether or not the pondering of determinism versus randomness, the creepy occult apparitions, or the religious implications are enough to outweigh the curious path of resolution, the pacing is exceptional and the use of Beethoven’s 7th symphony (2nd movement, Allegretto) really hits the spot.

– The Massie Twins

  • 6/10