Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Movie Review - Knowing

"Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of fire."

Ezekiel 1:4

When I first saw the trailers for Knowing, I thought, oh boy another disaster movie, when will they stop making them, but thrown into this disaster movie is a nice twist. This film has many various spiritual overtones and metaphors.

The story starts in a school, in 1959, where the teacher asks her class to write down what they think the future will look like and they will put them in a time capsule. Most of the kids draw some weird cars and robots, but one little girl draws a bunch of random numbers on a paper.

In the present day, John Koestler and his son Caleb come into contact with this paper, when the time capsule is uncovered, and John soon realizes that each number predicts every major natural or man-made disasters over the past 50 years. He soon figures out that there are three more disasters yet to come.

The rest of the story follows John and his son Caleb as the try to uncover the truth of the numbers and trying to prevent these disasters from happening. Also, there are 4 strange men that are following them around and "whispering" to Caleb and showing him visions. Who are they? What do they want?

What worked:
What made this movie work so well is that it is not just another "The Day after Tomorrow" or "Independence Day". You don't want to go into this movie looking for another natural disaster that must be avoided. You have to go into this movie, like the teacher says at the beginning of the movie, with your thinking caps on.

Throughout the movie John wrestles with the issue of "randomness" and "determinism". Is it purely random that the Earth happens to be the exact distance from the Sun that it needs to be in order for life to grow and thrive here? Or is it a sign of some sort of deeper, grander design (and if so, whose)? John personally believes that stuff just happens. When he receives this paper with all these numbers on it and discovers that they predicted all of these disasters it rattles what he believes. This film is a great discussion starter for your friends and family.

On the technical side of things everything was top notch, from the errey music to the flawless special effects and above par performance of Nicholas Cage. There is a scene with a plane crash that is super intense and will leave you grabbing your friends arm in the seat next to you.

What Didn't Work:
There are a number of questions that the film raises and I can't really talk about them without spoiling the movie, but I just wish that film answered all of the questions. Other than that, there is not really all that much that I hated about the movie. Some I suspect will find the ending utterly ridiculous or strangely comforting, depends on who you are.

I like this kind of movie, where is has some great action sequences, down to earth character development and interesting ideas. This movie I believe will have some Christians up in arms for its out of world ideas, but others will look at it as an opportunity to discuss it with other people and turn others to the truths of the Bible. Some of you may be wondering why I put the Ezekiel verse at the beginning, well I guess you will just have to see the movie to find out.

3 stars out of 4

Knowing is rated PG-13 for violence and language

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