To know about Knowing is to be informed of an upcoming apocalyptic thriller from a quartet of scribes with a background in Horror (many of the writers worked on 2005’s Boogeyman). However, this is a race against time action-drama starring ubiquitous leading man Nicolas Cage. Cage is Ted Myles, a teacher at his son’s school who uncovers the cryptic messages of a 50-year old document left in a time capsule by a former student there. Myles unearths the idea that the continual existence of Earth as we know it, rests largely in the hands of he and his son. The urgency to decode said messages and possibly save the world is thus agitated to the nth degree. To reveal much more about the plot would put you in the position of, well, knowing too much.
In the capable hands of underrated Director Alex Proyas, we can expect some shocks, twists, and hairpin turns that venture beyond the standard. His comic book adapted film The Crow flew away with some serious loot in ‘94 earning $50mm in domestic receipts, more than 3.5 times its reported budget. Viewers failed to venture into darkened theaters for 1998’s Dark City though, as it earned only about half that total worldwide. Proyas’ biggest earner to date was his most recent effort, 2004’s I, Robot which fought its way to $145mm domestically. Aided by box office royalty in the form of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, it was the poorest received by critics (58% Tomatometer) of the films mentioned but it computed a futuristic $347mm worldwide.
The myopic Cage is never one averse to the big screen, feeling you might forget him if he is gone for more than a few months at a time. Despite some airballs he’d like to forget, like last year’s Next ($17mm gross vs. $70mm budget), he still has the backing of studios to get big projects. But he has averaged nearly 3 movies a year in the last decade(!), begging the question whether or not audiences will be tired of him. However, as indicated by his recent National Treasure: Book of Secrets, currently at $220mm domestic and $457mm worldwide, we know he can still draw a crowd.
It’s hard to know whether or not Knowing will triumph at the box office. That is largely dependent on who show’s up in what form. Proyas can potentially graduate to the official big time with a hit here. Stylistically, he has proven he can create fantastical worlds we want to inhabit but he hasn’t done a film set in modern day in a while. Let’s hope Cage’s performance is more along the lines of 2005’s nuanced Weather Man (7.0 IMDB rating) than ‘06’s Wicker Man (3.2(!) IMDB). If we as an audience don’t want to rip the Face Off of Nickel Gauge Cage in this one, the odds of a successful movie-going experience increase exponentially. You can now consider yourself in the know about Knowing.