The Nic-Cage-A-Thon continues this week with another recent pick, 2009’s Knowing. How does Nic react to knowing the future? Let’s jump right in and find out!
It’s 1959 and we’re in your typical 1950s elementary school classroom. The teacher tells the kids that they are making a time capsule and the kids go APESHIT. Makes me long for childhood again, because i don’t get that excited about anything anymore. The kids then start working on drawing for the time capsule, except the creepy little girl who had the idea in the first place, she starts writing numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. The teacher then takes away the creepy girl’s paper before she can finish writing. It must be frustrating for the teacher because the creepy girl clearly has some form of autism and this is the 1950s so no one knows or cares what that is.
Fast forward to 2009 and the time capsule is being opened. Nic’s kid is of course the one who receives the crazy numbers because if he didn’t we wouldn’t have a plot at all. We couldn’t very well have Nic seeing the numbers in someone else’s hands and then stealing them from said kid. Although, that might be kind of hilarious.
Oh, and Nic is an astrophysicist. Remember that for later.
At home it’s revealed that Nic is an exhausted alcoholic single father and his kid is a deaf in the way where he can hear fine without a hearing aid. The kid has taken the numbers home and Nic gets angry and sends him to bed. Nic proceeds to get drunk and after a few hours spent watching television and wallowing in self loathing he takes a look at the numbers. He clears off a bulletin board and writes out a random group of the numbers and stares at it blankly for a few moments before realizing “hey, the first digits from this group is a the date, September 11th 2001 and then there’s four more digits!” Then he searches those numbers on the web and guess what? That’s how many people were killed on September 11th 2001.
So just for the record, he grabbed a random number grouping and they happened to turn out to be Sept 11th 2001. Of course they did, because America.
As a side note, I think it would have been funny if the numbers turned out to be written internationally and had turned out to be about the 9th of November.
So this goes on all night. Searching groups of numbers and finding disasters that correspond. He must have an uncanny knowledge of disasters as well, since he leaves big strings of numbers between each of the groupings he’s circled. If it were me I’d just see lots of numbers, but he’s managed to zero in on every relevant grouping like he’s fucking rain man or something.
And so the big mystery is set in motion. He goes to visit the teacher from 1959 and she turns out to be an alcoholic as well. She offers him tea, but only offers the gin to herself, and tells him about the creepy little girl who wrote the numbers and how she wrote more numbers on a door.
Meanwhile creepy albino people give his kid a black rock because, you know, reasons. Shortly after Nic’s sister shows up and is all concerned and he blows her off.
In another alcohol fuelled evening he figures out that the numbers he hasn’t circles are locations and that he’s basically at the location of the next disaster on the list. He drives to where the next disaster might be and there’s a massive traffic jam. He assume that he must be there and goes to ask someone what’s going on who gets about half way through saying “everything is fine” before a fucking plane crashes right into the traffic jam.
When he gets home he’s still in shock and tells everyone off and, I presume, starts drinking.
While he’s doing that the creepy albino people and show his kid a vision of the world ending. Fire, brimstone, animals running and on fire. Hell it looks like the air is on fire. It’s actually pretty a disturbing to show to a kid. Hell, it’s a disturbing scene to show me. When the kid starts crying Nic comes a-runnin’ and then runs outside after the creepy albino people yelling “you want some of this!” which is hilarious.
Now he’s still looking for more information on the numbers so he stalks the little girl who wrote them on the web. Finds a photo and it’s totally Rose Byrne. He then finds the girls daughter, also Rose Byrne, and stalks her in real life at a museum. Don’t ask me how he knew she’d be there because it’s not explained as far as I remember.
He manages to get her to come to lunch and then right off the bat starts asking all kinds of crazy questions, in that way that only Nic Cage can, about whether her mother had some kind of ability or if she was an albino with light coming out of her mouth and Rose Byrne runs away in response. This makes sense.
He then buys a gun, because America. Also because the creepy albinos are still watching the house.
At night he figures out the next place there’s going to be a disaster and since it’s New York City he calls the FBI and tells them a bomb is going to go off. He then dumps off his kid with his sister and goes to New York and when he gets there goes right up to a cop asking why they aren’t doing anything, to which the cop replies “Actually we’re waiting for a crazy guy who phoned in a bomb threat and …. wait, what did you say?”
Before the cop can finish Nic is running away and there’s more cops running after him. He dives into a subway station and for some reason starts chasing a purse snatcher. Every cop in New York is now chasing Nic (and they all recognize him on sight somehow) while he chases a purse snatcher. I guess he thinks that the purse snatcher is a terrorist, and in a way he is, but before we can have a serious debate about the matter a subway train derails and crashes through the station and kills everyone except Nic and a few cops.
That’s right, terrorism was just a red herring.
Rose Byrne is back now. Says the last day on the list is the day that her mother told her she’d die. Now everyone is in a car and they are going…. somewhere. Nic tries to sound deep as he talks about his wife dying and losing his faith but it doesn’t really work.
Turns out they were going to investigate Rose Byrne’s moms house, which is creepy as fuck. Trailer in the middle of nowhere and all kinds of conspiracy theory wall clutter of articles and photos and biblical references and such. Rose Byrne also points out that the last two digits aren’t 33 they are EE, and knows that that means “Everyone Else.” Dun Dun Dun. Wait, how did she know that?
Meanwhile in the unattended car the Albino people come to see the kids who are waiting patiently. Nic runs off into the creepy as fuck forest (and I think that’s the actual name of said forest) and when he catches up to one of the albinos the Albino turns around and belches light.
If you haven’t figured out the big twist at the end yet then this should serve as a pretty big clue.
It’s also at this point that the movie starts becoming the Crazy Nic Cage show. Fucking finally. No one does crazy the way that Nic Cage does crazy.
Nic the astrophysicist (remember, he’s an astrophysicist) finally starts cluing in that the sun might be a problem. They’ve been having record heat waves and cell phones don’t reliably work but it takes something the kid says for everyone to go “oh, the sun might blow up and kill us all.”
Everyone gets together in the car and drives off. Nic has a plan, but isn’t telling anyone what it is because, you know, reasons. He’s acting crazy and Rose Byrne is freaking out but rather than explain so that everyone would understand and be calm he just keeps stonewalling.
He’s going for the door that the last numbers got scratched onto so he’ll know where to go to save them, but since he’s acting fucking crazy and Rose Byrne is freaked out she drives away with the kids. She stops for gas and sees an emergency broadcast that says “the damage from the sun will be worse than we thought.” which is weird since we haven’t heard anything from anyone about the sun until the kid pointed it out 5 minutes ago.
At the same time the Albinos steal the kids and leave more of the rocks because of reasons. Rose Byrne steals a jeep to go after them and when she runs a red light she gets fucking creamed by a semi truck. No one could survive that. Nic shows up and sees her and she has survived. He the goes for the kids but she’s not with him because I guess she did die? It’s not really clear.
He gets to where the kids are and it’s a flat field full of the same rocks the albinos have been handing out like candy. Turns out they’re aliens (what a twist!) with what’s actually a pretty cool space ship.
They take the kids, but not Nic, to restart the human race. I don’t really see why they had to wait until the day the world ends to do this since it’s clear at this point that they are responsible for the numbers which means they knew about this happening at least 50 years in advance.
As the albino aliens take the kids away they turn into their natural less creepy form which is made of light and has wings and a .. halo.. around their… wait, they’re aliens and they’re angels? Good thing it’s not too heavy handed a reference.
Nic is now crying like only Nic Cage can. He passes out from it in fact and then wakes up at dawn to a world gone crazy. He drives through the center of town with Beethoven’s 7th playing. He gets to his parents house, they have a little reconciliation which includes the most awkward group hug in the world, and then the world ends as the sun explodes.
Cut to the kids playing in a field of terrible CGi grass on their new planet. Yay.
You know, this wasn’t actually as bad as I was expecting. Sure, the plot is a bit predictable at times but it’s actually a creepy creepy movie. In fact I think Nic Cage overacting might be it’s biggest failing other than a story that has so many convenient coincidences I’m surprised that one set of the numbers didn’t win anyone the lotto.
I can’t say as I recommend watching this, but if you’re going to choose a bad Nic Cage movie this one isn’t a bad one to go with.
Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to tell me about it in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81