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Starring: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury

Director: Alex Proyas

Writers: Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet Snowden

Cinematography: Simon Duggan

Original Score: Marco Beltrami

Running Time: 130 Mins.

Knowing when the films you keep picking are utter bilge, that’s certainly something Nic Cage needs to learn! For he seems to churn out duff film after duff film lately, you would have thought he had learnt his lesson by now, but no, for this might just be one of the worst. Worse than The Wicker Man remake I hear you say… well, almost!

The premise has Cage running around with his usual expression of bemusement, attempting to discover why the piece of paper handed to his son from his school’s time capsule has a series of numbers on it, rather than the other children’s images of robots, and spaceships etc. As it happens, they pinpoint dates of every disaster in the 50 years that have passed since the capsules burial.

 To be fair this is an intriguing set-up and for a while, well 30 minutes, I was curious at how the film would develop and the mystery explained, but, much like the much maligned The Day The Earth Stood Still remake we have something that begins interestingly and finds nowhere to go. When all the lose ends do finally get tied up it is using that lazy plot device that so many seem to be employing when all else fails, oh yes it’s all to do with aliens!

Fear not, this is not a spoiler and if you are unable to guess from all the signs  (or the poster!) that aliens will out, you need look no further than the men in black suits with white faces, they appear from nowhere, leave black stones (why!), and whisper in tongues to Cage’s son. If this all sounds bad, wait until you see it.

Though to be fair Knowing sells itself not on its plot, but the supposedly eye-popping special effect, well, heres the thing, there are two key and effects heavy disaster scenes, the first, a plane crash and the second a train crash, both have been done many times before and both, as it happens were executed a lot better over ten years ago (U S Marshalls and The Fugitive to name but two examples!). As Cage runs into the middle of the plane crash you will be mesmerised with some of the worst fire effects this side of the 1950’s! And then theres the burning moose that has to be seen to be believed!

So this is in effect an M. Night Shyamalan film minus the mystery, intrigue or atmospheric visuals (bar The Happening), it is a shame that more couldn’t have been made from the setup and Cage, though off the boil lately, can be great. The biggest failing here is of director Proyas, he behind The Crow and I, Robot, who showed such visual flair in the past is merely acting as rent-a-director here. It’s not that the direction is bad, in fact amongst all the other bad elements it stands out as one of the better things, but this is not saying much in the case of Knowing, to be honest your better off NOT Knowing.

VERDICT

Intrguing premise, awful execution, and the lazy ending is just unforgiveable. Nic Cage continues his run of duffs, let’s just hope that Knowing sees the peak of them and he can get back to making good films!

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