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Archive for April 14th, 2009

knowSome films are just plain annoying. Not god or bad but annoying. A perfect example of this would be the latest Nicolas Cage offering Knowing that I saw over the bank holiday weekend.  Not only does it offer nothing particularly new to the genre but it has an illogical plot that is full of holes.  This a great shame as the film is well made. The acting isn’t bad the effects aren’t bad and the film is well put together. Some of the music is a bit over the top but acceptable. So to put it simply the cast and crew could have made a decent film if not for the horrendous script (the plot and the story not the dialogue that is also okay). This is all the more disappointing if you consider the director, Alex Proyas has made some good films in the past. He is responsible for the excellent The Crow, the intriguing Dark City and the solid and entertaining (but not brilliant) I, Robot.

Warning: Plot spoilers don’t read beyond this point if you don’t want key parts of the story given away.

know2You probably know the plot from all the trailers doing the rounds on TV. In 1959 as a new elementary school opens a class is asked to draw pictures of what they think the world will be like in fifty years time. The pictures are then placed in a time capsule that will be opened in fifty years time. Instead of drawing a picture Lucinda a disturbed girl from the class covers he paper with rows and rows of what appears to be random numbers. The capsule is opened fifty years later and the drawings are handed out randomly to the current class. The page of numbers is given to Caleb Koestler who takes it home. His farther professor John Koestler from MIT (Nicolas Cage) spots a trend in the numbers and soon realises that the numbers relate to the dates, death tolls and coordinates of major disasters from the past 50 years as well as further dates in the next few days. The final date refers to the end of the world that John soon realises relates to solar flares. As this is going on Caleb is haunted by strange visions and hearing voices and seeing strange men. John tracks down Diana (Rose Byrne) the daughter of the now dead Lucinda. Diana has a daughter (played by the same actress as Lucinda) who is having similar experience to Caleb. The film ends with the destruction of all life on earth and the children know4landing on another planet to start again following a ride on a Noah’s Ark type space ship with the thanks to the strange men who weren’t the bad guys after all! They arrive at a glowing tree, possibly representing The Tree of Life, have we crossed over with Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain?

know3So what is wrong with the plot? The list that is the framing and in some respects the reason for the film. But when you think about it, it is completely irrelevant to the plans of the people who take the children away. If anything it is a hindrance to them as John turns up uninvited. Why contact Lucinda if it is not their intention to take her? And if they are as implied a space age version of Noah’s Ark why leave it to the last minute before leaving when they have had at least fifty years notice? So to put it simply there is no point to the story, the world ends following a series of irrelevant events that where predicted but not stopped.

So if I haven’t put you off the film or if you have already seen it and are looking forward to buying the DVD to see it again here are a few more annoying holes in the plot.

As the envelopes are handed out to the kids randomly how is it the list gets into the hands of a child who has been chosen (this can be explained by the fate or random selection as discussed in the film but that weak plotting at best).

I have it on good authority that solar flares will not adversely affect the ozone layer making Johns theory completely wrong. (I have not looked this up so don’t know if it is true but the person who told me sounded convincing so Google it if you want to find out for sure).

The mobile phones are supposedly knocked out by solar flares so Diana is unable to call John (her phone says “no service” even though has bars indicating a signal) but John whose phone has already stopped working is able to receive an incoming call. John stops at the crashed Jeep even though he has no way of knowing it has anything to do with Diana.

If the girl was so compelled to finish the number sequence that she locked herself in a cupboard and scratched it into the back of the door with her bloody fingers why did it take her an entire day to do this? When Caleb had the paper taken from him in a similar way he continued to write on the desk immediately.

The dates are given as month/day/year for example the September 11 terrorist attacks are 911012996. Not necessarily a mistake but do the “whisper men” alter the date format for people from other countries who put the day before the month when writing the date?

It is announced in class that it was decide yesterday that they will place a time capsule in the ground the following day. This gives them 24 hours to get the swanky space age looking time capsule and 48 hours to make the hole where they intend to place it and make the decorative iron cover to go over the top. These timescales seem highly unlikely.

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