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Knowing (DVD)

Starring: Nicolas Cage & Rose Byrne.

Rated: 15.

Story: An astrophysics professor, who is struggling with the randomness of the universe after the death of his wife, stumbles upon predictions of impending disasters. In trying to figure out what's going on and how it can all possibly be true, he finds purpose, a love interest and some big explosions...

Comments: Knowing is a strange mix of genres: one moment it's a science fiction extravaganza, the next it's a thriller and sometimes it's a ghost story. Unfortunately, although it flits between these subplots with style and ease, it's never very good at following all three at once. Each strand is tense and intriguing but the way they tie together at the end is very unsatisfying. The premise of a mysterious list of numbers warning of catastrophe is great but it ultimately turns out to be a very elaborate scheme to solve a simple problem. Like a mousetrap involving cuckoo clocks, marble runs and toy yachts, it's entertaining to watch but doesn't necessarily seem that useful.

The film feels as if it's trying to say something about the nature of belief and hope but the bizarre conclusion confuses it all. The professor's personal path to faith is providentially laid out before him, showing him exactly what he needs to see, but as with many Damascus road experiences in real life, it's perhaps not very convincing for anyone else.

Still, the acting is passable and the plot is gripping for most of the film's length. It just doesn't make much sense. The end result is both riveting and underwhelming at the same time.

Conclusion: A scenic route to a mundane destination.

Explosions: Occasional but enormous.
Weird blokes who lurk in the woods: Several.
Spooky stones: Thousands.
Scenes involving frantic paint-stripping: One.
Captured mice: None.

Rating: 3/5.


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