The first thing I thought of after seeing Summit Entertainment's panel for Alex Proyas' new disaster flick Knowing was how much more brutal it seemed than in the trailer. In addition to viewing the trailer, I also had the opportunity to watch two extended, but unfinished clips from the film: One of a horrific plane crash and the other of a subway crash. (Keep this in mind if you consider bringing children to this film as it's only rated PG-13.)
Other than the fact that I knew this was a film about predicting the world's future in accordance to its major natural disasters, I didn't exactly have much information about it, but these extended sequence were way more than I bargained for.
There are spoilers below and I'll warn you before you come to them.
Teacher John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) becomes involved in trying to prevent a major natural disaster after discovering a piece of paper in a time capsule that has predicted every major natural disaster for the past 50 years. As John studies the paper more he is more able to understand how it works and even the dates and places of future disasters. Which brings us to the first clip.
Koestler is sitting in traffic, caused by a car accident, when he realizes that he is at the exact coordinates, on the date of one of the predicted disasters. He gets out of his car and asks a police officer if everything is all right. Then out from the sky falls a jumbo jet, which crashes through traffic and into a field. Koestler races through the wreckage to attempt to help people, who are on fire, dying or dead.
A scene Alex Proyas' Knowing
I'm not sure about anyone else, but the sense of dread and doom I felt are unexplainable. I felt unprepared for such a cataclysmic event, but my interest was absolutely piqued about what would happen next.
In the second clip, Koestler is at he scene of the next disaster, which predicts the deaths of 81 people. He races up to a police officer asking why the area has yet to be evacuated. When she looks at him as though he's an escapee from Bellevue, Koestler races into the subway, where he believes he sees a man that looks suspicious. He chases the guy onto a train when another train slips off its tracks and speeds through the air like a bullet, heading right for the train Koestler is on. Then the two trains collide and you watch the decimation of both trains, the subway station and tons of people.
Although, both scenes are very well crafted, I really spent a lot of time wondering how everything is going to be together in a way that explains the creepy alien looking men in the trailer with the number prediction sheet. My hope is Knowing won't be the victim of a M. Night Shyamalan type ending, where 74 minutes of questions are answered in two minutes with an absurd anomaly for an explanation. It's a cop out that totally cheapens storytelling.
Creepy aliens(?) from Knowing
As a disaster film, Knowing will hold its own, but in the realm of Sci-Fi thriller, I'll be excited to see exactly how the discovery of the information in the time capsule will tie into the ending of this film. As the numbers on the paper run out, does that predict the impending doom of Earth? Or, rather, will it open up the possibility of Earth becoming a Utopia? I'm not sold on either one of those ideas, but it highlights some of the greatest fears of modern times, which should be really interesting to watch.
Knowing opens on March 20th.
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