Friday, June 5, 2009

Why you do that, Cage?

Look at him. Look at his serious face. He's like a chimpansee. I'm not saying he looks like a chimpansee, but going to see a Nic Cage movie is like being in an enclosed space with a chimpansee. You never know what's going to happen. You never know what those crafty eyes are thinking, what that primal intelligence is calculating. He might leave you alone and eat some bananas. He might fling poo at you. He might rip out your jugular. So too with Nic Cage. You might get a Leaving Las Vegas. You might get a Face/Off. You might get a Ghost Rider. Or you might get a Knowing. I think my hair still smells.

By the way, let me preface this by saying a ticket to this movie was bought for me by a friend who was pretty much forced to see this and was in desperate need of entertaining company to see it with. To that very friend, I'm sorry I slept so much.

Knowing is a movie that fits in a long line of movies and TV shows that a friend of mine once called "mystical mumbo jumbo". If I were to hazard I guess, I'd say that its current popularity was jump-started by the success of Lost. How do you make good MMJ movie/show? Simple! Take a premise that is mysterious and vague. Then get your protagonist(s) really worked up about it. They should yell more as the movie progresses, even though it's not always 100% clear what everyone's yelling about, or its importance.

In Knowing, Nic Cage is an astrophysics professor yelling about a little piece of paper with numbers on it. Those numbers were written down by a creepy little girl in 1959, and buried in a time capsule. Their spookiness is cause enough for concern, like any decent astrophysics professor would note. But woe on us all, the little girl was stopped by her teacher before she could finish the sequence of numbers the voices in her head were reciting.

At one point, Nic deduces that one particular sequence of numbers coincides with OMG 9/11 and 2996, apparently the death toll of that fateful day. So he starts looking up other shit and whaddya know? Disasters! Dates! Death tolls! Bejaysis and begorrah, 81 people will die in a few days! That really begs the question: what's a big enough disaster to be on the list? I'm guessing 80 is the minimum here, cuz that list was about 2 pieces of A4 paper long and anything below that just seems like being overly thorough.

Horror! The whisperers also occasionally visit Cage's son, apparently to make him finish that damn list. At this point I know what the list does, I just don't really understand why the whisperers feel the need to finish it.

The whisperers are aliens. I didn't put spoiler warnings up because this movie looked like a turd from the first trailer and if you thought it looked good for even a goddamned fucking second you deserve to be spoiled. Punched as well, but I can't punch you through the internet and like any internet tough guy I would probably be very polite in real life to anyone I insulted online. The whisperers are aliens who like to dress up like Spike from Buffy and they whisper fucking numbers and some people pick up those numbers in their brain and feel compelled to write them down. I guess the logic would be that THE WORTHY get to sidestep all that shit that might happen to them and find the location where the aliens pick them up to start a new life off-world. Okay, I guess.

But Nic Cage is the only one who figures it all out. And the Spikes kidnap his son and the daughter of love interest Rose "No Use Crying Over Spilt Padmé" Byrne. They kidnap them. Cage gives chase, but is ultimately told by the aliens he ain't on the guest list. Tearful goodbyes abound as it is the two children (and, inexplicably, their pet bunnies) that get to hitch a ride on the Chariots of the Tards. Oooookay.

What was the point? Why engineer that whole thing with the list if you're going to pick and choose your own chosen ones anyway? Shouldn't Cage be the chosen one? He was the only guy on Earth who deciphered the signal, and his brain wasn't even advanced enough to pick up the brainwhispers the Spikes were broadcasting. That oughta buy you a ticket, right?

God, fuck this turd. All it has going for it are some cool crashes. It's a cheap goddamn M. Night Shyamalan wannabe punk bitch of a movie. Yeah, that's right. Wannabe M. Night Shyamalan. That's like wanting to be the guy who has the 1,000+ anime DVD collection, but just not being cool enough to pull it off.

What happened to you, Alex Proyas? The Crow was pretty cool and I was even mildly entertained by I, Robot. Dude got locked up in a room with the wrong monkey.

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