Alex Proyas' KNOWING
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
In KNOWING director Proyas (Dark City, I, Robot, Garage Days) takes disparate elements (end of world, numerology, randomness vs. determinism, single father raising son alone, calamity, Nicolas Cage, and some of the most visceral and amazing special effects I’ve seen since Benjamin Button) and weaves them into a mix you’ll either love or hate.
I loved it. I also was scared. End-of-the-world movies need to be pretty good before I sit up and take notice (e.g., see War of the Worlds) but Knowing combines an edge-of-the-seat you-are-there sensibility with amazingly edited scenes of catastrophe.
To accomplish this Proyas focuses on the father (Cage) and his son. We see events through this relationship. Did I believe what was going on? Not for a second. The story is unbelievable. Did I respond? Absolutely. The scenes of catastrophe — the plane crash, the subway crash, the car crash — have an immediacy and palpable reality that reminded me of opening my apartment window in Brooklyn and seeing the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
Did I like the ending? Absolutely. The pieces fit together. You’ll catch a whiff of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End here, which also bowled me over the first time I read it.
But this movie’s not for everybody. Consider yourself warned.
Movie review copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald