|Genre:||Mystery & Suspense|
Let me say that the director of "Knowing", Alex Proyas, is one of my favorite filmmakers. If you've seen his earlier films, than it's highly likely you're also infatuated with this guy. Despite bleak and decidedly dark tones to his movies, they always have a silver lining. When Eric Draven says "It can't rain all the time", or when John Murdoch steps out into the sunlight at the end of "Dark City", you can't help but sigh.
When they released "I, Robot" with Will Smith, I was concerned. Will Smith? I felt it would be some kind of vapid, effects driven spectacle, devoid of the lasting impressions that the previous films left. I was glad to leave the cinema dissapointed on that account. The film has the same qualities as "The Crow", but with alot more action thrown in. I can watch it over and over and never tire of Sonny's "I did not murder him!"
"Knowing" was another movie I was hesitant to watch. Initial reviews had it pegged as a dud, comparing it to Shymalan's various failures (most of which I've enjoyed). Still, lowered expectations tend to let me enjoy movies that the populace has deemed awful, so I went and watched.
If you've watched "The Forgotten" or "Flightplan" then you'd recognize the main push of this film. It's a conspiracy movie with doomsday overtones. Nic Cage's son finds a page full of number sequences writen down by a grade schooler 50 years ago, and Cage realizes that it's a list of dates, locations, and casualty counts. It's a race against time to figure out if he can change the future and save people that the page has marked for death.
Nothing new here.
But wait, there are "whisper people" who keep appearing around his son, bleach blonde men in black overcoats who step out of the shadows to screeching orchestration. They remind me of Spike from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Who are these shadowy figures? What do they want from Cage's son? Why do they whisper in his ear? What are these stones that they keep leaving around like rat droppings?
Does anyone really care?
Truthfully, the movie is a depressing ride, from the plane crash scene (rife with inaccuracy by the way - if a jet crashes wing first into the ground, no one is walking away from the thing, burning or not) to the subway collision (scary and graphic), to the final armmegeddon (yes, please! end it all!). The movie attempts a silver lining with it's tangential ending - something involving benevolent alien races intent saving endangered species by relocating them (say what?!) - but by the time that happens, one is already screaming "bullshit!" in his head and walking out sorely wishing he had watched Dragonball again.
After "I, Robot", I was really looking forward to a great Proyas yarn. After "The Wicker Man", I was looking forward to a good Nic Cage pic. Zip on both counts.