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Knowing

In pre-television years local films and radio were a different cultural beast.  Using performers who spoke ‘proper English’ accents, our antipodean identity was masked.  Reaching into the past for inspiration, movie production in the new century has taken on a more American flavour.  Knowing is another addition with Melbourne’s streets standing in for its Boston setting.  If only the script replicated our unique story skills it may have had more chance at doing our industry proud.
Fifty years after a time capsule is placed at a school, its contents are eagerly awaited.  Among them is a strange letter given to student Caleb (Chandler Canterbury).  His father, John (Nicholas Cage), has his curiosity awakened by its listed series of numbers.  Discovering their connection with a series of tragic disasters, he becomes alarmed when a further numerical strand has yet to be realised.  Determined to protect his son and those around him, his quest is observed by a mysterious coven that may hold the key to the final result.
Knowing offers an abject lesson in how not to present a screenplay.  Although audiences are willing to accept the most bizarre notions, one always has to believe in what they are seeing.  Alex Proyas’ latest directorial effort offers none of that, with an intriguing concept thrown away by a completely ludicrous conclusion.  It’s disappointing that the director of The Crow and Dark City has played the Hollywood game of treating viewers like mugs with a script full of glaring holes and ridiculous coincidences.  In some ways Knowing is a nit-picker’s dream with its inconsistencies providing more entertainment than its plot.
In spite of some elements exploring how random occurrences can thrive by one’s actions, this is quickly forgotten once the pedestrian action kicks in.  Other problems include the awful special effects and murky cinematography more than matching Cage’s permanently dour faced character.  It’s perhaps unfair to target the actors, indeed they’re quite passable, as they can only be as good as the material they have.  The only aspect that excels is Marco Beltrami’s fantastic orchestral arrangements providing a booming score which has the added advantage of drowning out some of the more risible dialogue on display.
Messy, unfocused and a waste of good local talent, Knowing is a blight on our technical expertise.  Poorly constructed without any form of logical thought, one wishes viewer’s had their own sixth sense which may have saved two hours of their lives that Knowing has deceptively taken. 
Rating out of 10:  2

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