Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Childhood's Endtimes

It was with some skepticism that I sat down to watch the apocalyptic sci-fi drama Knowing. Surprisingly it turned out to be Nicholas Cage's best film in years. It isn't a great film but it is entertaining and isn't on the level of dreck he's been doing for years.

Themes familiar to SF fans abound. Ideas from Clarke's Childhood's End to Signs to the Mothman legend and even some Men in Black paranoia appears but the film doesn't do a bad job of it.

Knowing
is about a college professor who through his child discovers a several decades old text of seemingly random numbers. The number sequence of course is actually a prophecy of micro and macro disasters as sent years ago to a child by the otherworldly, terrifying and angelic Mothmen in Black. The child, bombarded by voices from the future, goes mad and changes from an eccentric kid to a raving hermit preparing for the end times. Nicholas Cage plays the typical educated skeptic but avoids the usual cliche of refusing to believe the evidence until the end when he achieves enlightenment. Fairly quickly Cage accepts the evidence before him and takes it upon himself to help wherever he can. His attempts meet with mixed results and the movie takes a turn when Cage figures out what the final sequence of numbers foretells.

As expected in a film about the destruction of humanity, religion, or to be more accurate, mythology plays a large part in the film. This is particularly evident in the final scene of the film and even prior to that during the climax one gets the idea that the character played by Cage is merely humoring his father in the interest of familial peace.

I'll be adding Knowing to my DVD collection when it hits the store a few months from now in an exception to my usual No Cruise/Cage/Costner rule.

1 comment:

  1. I have to disagree with your rule. War of the Worlds was the greatest (if anticlimactic but that's the source material's fault), and I can't talk anyone into seeing it because they hate Tom Cruise or Dakota Fanning or some nonsense.

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