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After seeing the previews for Knowing on television I was very eager for it to come to theaters, but the film most definitely did not live up to the high expectations it gives movie fans. I was very disappointed with the movie and left the theater thinking, "Seriously? Did they really just do that?"
The film starts off 50 years ago with an elementary school project where the students are asked to draw a picture to put in a time capsule that will be opened half a century later on the school's 50th anniversary. One student, Lucinda Embry fills both sides of her paper with a series of seemingly random numbers instead of a picture.
Jump ahead 50 years. John Koestler is a single father raising his son, Caleb, after his wife was killed in a tragic fire that claimed the lives of several dozen others. At the ceremony celebrating the school's 50th anniversary the time capsule is opened and Caleb unluckily is given an envelope that contains Lucinda's cryptic code instead of a picture like his fellow classmates. Later that evening something jumps out at John from the paper a clump of numbers: 0911012996. It doesn't take long for him to figure out that these numbers really translate to 9/11/01 and 2996, the date and death toll of the September 11th terrorist attacks. John immediately jumps to work picking apart the numbers and finds that all huge disasters in the last 50 years have been accurately documented before they even occurred, but there are three upcoming catastrophe's the Lucinda's paper predicts. And sure enough, they happen when they say they are going to happen killing the number of people that Lucinda recorded.
John tries to seek out Lucinda to see if there is anything she can do to help, but discovers that she committed suicide a few years back and the only person he can reach is Lucinda's daughter Diana and Diana's daughter.
This is about the time where the plot line goes from interesting to flat out confusing. Many questions that would seem crucial to the plot are left unanswered, not to mention that the ending of the angels/aliens taking the "chosen" children away to "safety" (another planet that is meant to be a juxtaposition of the Garden of Eden) has a similar feeling to reading the last sentence of a book that says "And then I woke up and realized the whole thing was just a dream." I remember saying to my friends. "Aliens? Seriously, aliens?" The plot, while seemingly interesting, was poorly carried out and what was developed tapered away without being solved. Strong performances were given by Nicholas Cage, Rose Byrne,and the two child leads, Chandler Canterbury and Lara Robinson. Unfortunately, the poorly developed script cast a shadow over the performances. The movie is a real edge-of-your-seat attention holder until the last half hour of it.
I left the theater with a crowd that mumbled their disappointment in the film and complained of having wasted $8. Clearly "Knowing" did not live up to the high standards people held, and even those who had no expectations of the film were clearly disappointed. If you are really eager to see this movie I would recommend waiting until it comes out on DVD and then renting it. You'll have a greater peace of mind knowing that you wasted $2 to rent it than $8 for each person to see it theaters. And if you really are determined to see it on the big screen, leave 30 minutes early so that you won't be disappointed with the ending.