The trailer for Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage and releasing March 20 via Summit Entertainment, is online, and in very broad surface strokes it comes across as a slightly glummer, twistier version of 2007’s time-and-space-bending Next, which is to say inessential Cage, through and through. I say this with some regret and heaviness of heart, given that the movie is directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City), who’s a top-notch visual stylist.
The story centers around a professor who stumbles on a series of terrifying
predictions about the future, and sets out to prevent them from coming
true. In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new
elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be
stored in a time capsule. But one mysterious girl instead fills her sheet of
paper with rows of apparently random numbers. Fifty
years later, a new generation of students examines the capsule’s
contents and the girl’s cryptic message ends up in the hands of young
Caleb. Caleb’s father, professor Ted Myles, makes the
startling discovery that the encoded message predicts with pinpoint
accuracy the dates, death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster
of the past 50 years. As Ted further unravels the document’s chilling
secrets, he realizes it foretells three additional events — the
last of which hints at destruction on a global scale, and seems to
somehow involve Ted and his son.
Befitting a Proyas flick, the tone looks suitably atmospheric (for what it is, more thriller than sci-fi), and things that work in the trailer notably include the plane crash sequence, chiefly because it seems less “spotlighted” than so many effects-laden sequences. Things that don’t work: mention of the “whisperer people,” standing far afoot (never set up global catastrophe, then jerk it back to something corporeal); Ted promising to never let his son die (?!); and, while we’re at it, the movie’s title font and poster, the latter of which looks very much like War of the Worlds from a squinting distance. Also, right now Knowing is being billed as being written by Ryne Douglas
Pearson, Richard Kelly, Juliet Snowden & Stiles White, Stuart
Hazeldine, and Proyas, which just underscores the too-many-cooks-spoil-the-concept feeling. To view the trailer, click here.