OK, right off the bat: it’s a weird flick. This is to be expected, coming as it does from director Alex Proyas, who also directed “The Crow” and “Dark City.” So if you didn’t care for those two, chances are pretty good you won’t like “Knowing.” But if, like me, you liked those earlier flicks…. then chances are that, like me, you’ll think that “Knowing” is a damned fine movie.
Spoliers ahead. So, if you don’t like spoilers, stop reading, ya moron.
As may be suspected from the advertisements, “Knowing” is an end-of-the-world flick. But amazingly, it’s an apocolyptic flick that doesn’t puss out at the end. Also, the world-ending mechanism, while depicted as a bit more badass than would likely be the case, is nonetheless a scientifically plausable one. No “Earth is gonna explode” or “Sun is going to go supernova” or “nanobots are going to scrape the planet down to bedrock” or “the trees are pissed off and are going on the offensive” here.
Much of the movie, for most of the movie, doesn’t seem to make the slightest damned bit of sense… for a while there it seems like it might be a “ghost movie” with creepy supernatural weirdoes who look like “Spike” from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and with seemingly meaningless shiny black rocks. But by the end, a good deal of the “huh???” turns into “huh.” Still, some important aspects are left unanswered…. and the movie is better for it. Demons? Angels? Ghosts? Aliens? Time travellers?
There are some substantial religious aspects to the movie, largely revolving around “Ezekial.” In the last few minutes, it comes and whacks you upside the head, but it does it in a visually striking fashion that’s, well, just plain awesome. Even though the religious aspects revolve around a religion that’s not *my* religion, it was quite well done.
I’ve seen at least one critic bitch about the visuals, but I found ’em quite striking. There were more than a few that just about had me floored, including one sequence showing one hell of a forest fire, and certainly much of the last few minutes. The scene where an airliner crashes, again visible briefly in the trailers, is quite simply astonishing, and astonishingly effective. I heard more than a few gasps in the theater. It’s quite simply one of the most horrific things I’ve seen on the big screen in a while that didn’t involve characters intentionally doing evil things to each other. It’s not a brief clip, but an extended sequence of disaster and tragedy. And, importantly, it’s all perfectly relevant to the plot and to the development of Nick Cage’s character.
For those that get the reference, the very best and most striking visual from “The Quiet Earth” will be recalled.