[Review] Knowing

[This review may contain spoilers]

knowing2009 is turning out to be a good year for movies for me. In my opinion, one of the best movie experiences you can have is when you are misled by all the promotional hoo-haa like posters and trailers, then be completely surprised by what the movie is really all about. I just had this experience watching Alex Proyas’ latest film, Knowing.

The plot is simple enough. John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) is a Professor at MIT whose son is a student at an elementary school that buried a time capsule 50 years earlier. When John get a hold of a piece of paper with a bunch of numbers on it from the time capsule, he discovers the numbers are predictions of when, how many people were killed and where every major disaster has happened since 1959, except for three. He then is determined to make sense of these predictions, try to prevent and dig up the mystery and history behind these predictions, only to uncover unworldly circumstances.

During and immediately after watching this, my mind was blown. I really do regard watching the film as one of the best movie experiences I’ve had. And I’ll tell you why. I went into the movie expecting a typical disaster-type film ala The Day After Tomorrow. The film managed to keep me pretty much in the dark up until 10 minutes before the end. I was completely blown away at the fact that I was watching a Science-fiction film the entire time and I didn’t know it. Call me clue-less or whatever, but it truly gave me incredible viewing pleasure. I walked out of the cinema feeling invigorated in respect to my interest in the Sci-fi genre. I honestly think this was a kick-ass Sci-fi film. Best in years.


The film started out pretty slow, bordering on dull, giving the audience a chance to be introduced to the characters, their relationships as well as the basic plot to the story. For the first quarter or so of the film, it felt like it was stuck in 2nd gear but instantaneously jumped straight to 5th gear with the plane crash scene as seen in the trailer. Knowing has the perfect mix of reaching out to the audience through the personal and sentimental father-son relationship as well as the high octane disaster scenes. Being completely cliche, I felt like I was actually there when the plane crashed and the subway disaster happened. The effects were that good.

Other than having sensational effects, the story was so brilliantly put together it maintained a sense of horror and fright in a movie that was far from scary. Looking deeper into the themes of the movie, it talks about determinism and randomness, referring to the Universe as the former. Making discrete references to fate, Science versus religion, God and heaven; Knowing presents us with fascinating thoughts.


The ending is anything but predictable and typical. It took Proyas a lot of guts to end the film the way he did and I loved it the way it was. It is so rare to see an ending that is so determined and ambitious.

To find out what I’m talking about, just go see the film. I’m not saying you’ll like the film because this film is far from being a film for everyone. Fans of the disaster and Sci-fi genres, I urge you to see the film. Special effects junkies, you too. To sum up the film, I thought it was mind-blowingly good, blowing my mind in more ways than one. I really loved it. So far, almost on par with Watchmen for my movie of the year. But then again, we’re still in March.

Popcorn Meter – 8/10 Popcorns

Special mention – 10/10 for SFX

Also, head on over to Louis' blog for his take on the movie.

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