"Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I've seen -- frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome." --Roger Ebert.
Knowing is not among the best science-fiction films I've seen. Knowing is about the "whisper people," who give small black stones to children and force them to do complicated math problems involving latitude, longitude, and various disasters. Knowing is a better Cage film than Wicker Man, but not better than the two-minute Youtube cut of Wicker Man ("The bees! Are in! My eyes!). Neither is it better than Cage's Vampire's Kiss (he eats a live cockroach in that one). Knowing is directed by Alex Proyas, who gave us a near-masterpiece with Dark City, earning him the everlasting love of Roger Ebert. But then he gave us I, Robot. And then he gave us this. At one point a fiery moose runs directly at the camera and I thought to myself, Man, I wish Knowing were in 3-D...and that I were very drunk! At one point Cage asks a man on fire to wait and answer some questions. Knowing is sort of like Left Behind, but with Cage as Kirk Cameron. But it's not exactly about the rapture. Or is it? Was the woman behind me crying because she wanted to be raptured, or because she was very moved by the sight of young children ascending to spaceman-heaven holding large bunnies, or because she wanted the movie to be over? At one point Cage fights a tree with a baseball bat. Knowing is not quite as funny as another recent "horror" film about math, The Number 23, in which Jim Carrey spends most of the film furrowing his brow and shouting out various number combinations that equal 23. Knowing is not the best movie about numbers. The best movie about numbers is, I don't know, Pi, maybe?
And here's Dr. X with an analysis of why the film is tops at the box-office (easily besting a quality bromance and a Julia Roberts star-vehicle in its opening weekend):
"This is it in a nutshell: Take two parts numerology mumbo jumbo and pass it off as Sci-Fi, then take one part knavish apocalyptic bullshit (so you turn yer spacemen into angels) -- and that brings in your 40+ "The whole world is gonna end" crowd... sprinkle in the freaks that thought Ghost Rider kicked ass... and you have about 25 million in sales!
--I don't even know why Proyas directed this. I suspect it was because it involved men in dark coats (as every Proyas movie MUST has strange men in dark coats!)
...the reason why the thing was a great idea [was] to scare an audience into thinking it was having fun... but the minute you begin to think about the fact that "Why in hell, would the whisper people give the girl in the fifties the code when she A couldn't do anything about B wasn't gonna do anything about it C couldn't save her daughter... etc and Why does Nic Cage even matter in the movie as A he can't do shit about the numbers B Can't stop his son from leaving C The Whisper people are gonna take him and the girl anyway!?"
--Essentially the movie broils down to: "Shit that will scare grandma and a plot that needed contrivances or the movie would ended in five minutes. Also: SHIT. WILL. BURN!"