I’ve mentioned before how I think Nicholas Cage is the great spawn of Satan, his hairplugs the horsemen of the Apocalypse. He’s as clunky and long-faced as a camel, and no director should ever, ever ask him to run and expect the audience to still take him seriously thereafter. But dammit, he still gets roles in the films I still hanker after seeing. (Aliens blow stuff up – I’m there.) So I knew it’d have to suck it up and take myself along to Knowing.
In this tale, a time capsule dug up from a high school yard includes a note that appears to give the dates, GPS coordinates and casualty rates of all major accidents over the last 50 years. Spooky. Old Nick becomes a bit obsessed by this, and tries to make sense of it all before the whole world implodes. But do you know what? the results are really not half bad. The special effects are engaging, with the kind of gasp-worthy violence you just don’t usually associate with this kind of movie, the supporting cast (including the astoundingly lovely Rose Byrne) are solid, and even Old Nick steps off the ham-gas for a moment and throws out a vaguely nuanced and interesting performance. Grudgingly I’ll capitulate; he’s good in this.
The movie is not without its flaws – some of the things these folks do are unaccountably dumb – and you’ll either love or hate the ending. But you know that’s not why I’m here. I loved the fact that Knowing has a real All-American feel about it, particularly the high school scenes, yet it was virtually all filmed in and around Melbourne, Australia. Not all Aussies loved that, of course – see this report in The Age; as the author notes, why not just set the film in Melbourne? It’s the perfect place to make a movie about the end of the world….