Movie Details: View Here
Audio Commentary with Director Alex Proyas
Knowing All: The Making of a Futuristic Killer
Versions of the Apocalypse
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Run Time: 121 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be stored in a time capsule but one mysterious girl fills her sheet of paper with rows of apparently random numbers instead. Fifty years later, Professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) makes the startling discovery that the encoded message predicts every major disaster of the past 50 years. As John further unravels the document's chilling secrets, he realizes the document foretells three additional events - the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale and seems to somehow involve John and his son.
"Knowing" starts off with a good hook. I admit -the page of numbers intrigued me, that crazy little girl had my attention, and even Nicolas Cage was doing a commendable job of being a normal smart guy, keeping the dramatics to a minimum. Then more people got involved, the plot holes became more noticeable - and the yelling began. It all changed about one-third of the way in, and I don't think it ever recovered.
It all starts off with an off-kilter kid, Lucinda Embry (Lara Robinson), who writes a big, long page of seemingly random numbers and sticking it in a time capsule to be opened 50 years later. When it's opened, Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury) gets that paper full of numbers, and it winds up in the hands of his astrophysicist father John (Cage) who soon detects a pattern. Seems the numbers have predicted major disasters over the past 50 years-and a few that have yet to happen. John tracks down Lucinda's daughter (Rose Byrne), and together with their kids, searches desperately for a clue as to how to stop what very well could be the destruction of the world.
The whole numbers/predictions concept is always good for some intrigue, bringing out the inner nerd in all of us. Who doesn't love a good pattern? And for a while, "Knowing" keeps us guessing, wondering why THESE people have been shown THESE numbers-and what are they supposed to do with them? Then it all goes awry, story-wise. They try to throw in some religion, but the whole "pastor's son" element is a big pile of cliché, and John's conversation with his sister is one of the clunkiest scenes I've seen in a while. The addition of John's new "ally" Diana, who is also Lucinda's daughter, does nothing but take away from the story - there's an air of "you and me against the world" isolation with John and Caleb, and the addition of Diana and her daughter Abby lessens the impact. Robinson does a wonderful job in her dual role as Lucinda/Abby, but Byrne is both flat and annoying as Diana. And Cage ... well ... he starts off doing the sad but normal dad thing, but he deteriorates, alongside the movie, into a hysterical mess. By the end of the film, questions fly left and right-why was Caleb involved? Did that list contain EVERY major disaster-and if not, what was the criteria? Oh, and the big one - in the end, what was the purpose of the list? "Knowing" is one of those movie's where, while it's on, you think you get it, but a few minutes later, you realize there was nothing to get, because it feels like they were making it up as they went along.
I'll give it to the Audio Commentary-the movie may have some fatal flaws, but the commentary by director Alex Provas is actually pretty interesting. There's also a basic Making Of called "'Knowing All': The Making of a Futuristic Thriller," and a slightly baffling panel discussing the end of the world in a featurette called "Visions of the Apocalypse." It's an OK package, but nothing to pay for if given the option to rent without it.
"Knowing" has the makings of an intriguing thriller, and the kid actors have a future to look forward to - but it all breaks down somewhere around the time everything starts happening and Nic Cage can't keep himself from yelling.