Knowing Starring Nicolas Cage and Chandler Canterbury. Directed by Alex Proyas. In cinemas from March 25.



My thoughts before

The new hit Nicolas Cage movie! (Cue cheers!) But sarcasm aside, I have a horrible feeling this is going to be one of those new

Knowing

Starring Nicolas Cage and Chandler Canterbury. Directed by Alex Proyas. In cinemas from March 25.

My thoughts before

The new hit Nicolas Cage movie! (Cue cheers!) But sarcasm aside, I have a horrible feeling this is going to be one of those new-fangled thrillers with an intriguing-looking trailer but just implodes into a convoluted, shallow mess.

I remember first seeing the trailer for the 2007 movie The Number 23. Not only did it have Jim Carrey playing a serious character, interesting in itself, but the plot seemed genuinely interesting, thought-provoking and original.

I went on opening day, wide-eyed and waiting to be amazing. And... it was terrible. I'd have rather watched the trailer the equivalent 50 times than to have seen it. It fell down because any mystery I went in with was dismissed by a boring, generic script.

So I'm extremely cynical after the similar trailer this conjured up.

Not only that but it stars Nicolas 'didn't he win an Oscar at some point?' Cage, who for the last decade has gone from cosy beginnings in the fantastic Leaving Las Vegas and the solid for-what-it-is action thriller The Rock to, well, rubbish. Ok, the Spike Jonze vehicle Adaptation is critically acclaimed and perhaps an exception - but Nicolas Cage has become a stereotype, playing the same role over and over again.

But let's see, I'm trying to be positive. After being stung by Carrey and co in The Number 23 I'm wary of good-looking trailers. But maybe this one will be the exception to the rule?

Afterwards

The first hour and a half is badly written and a weak build-up to a final half hour.

Fifty years ago, according to the writers, a girl places a weird little note into a school's time capsule. Back in present day and, shock horror, Nicolas Cage's son is handed the note (with scribbled numbers all over it) and shows his dad - who happens to be an ex-Astrophysicist turned lecturer who's terribly good with numbers and codes (handy!).

On a particularly drab night for Cage's character 'John', after some awkward dialogue with his son 'Caleb', he settles down with a bottle of whiskey and (oh!) puts it down on the note.

When he picks it back up he notices that it's circled some numbers on the paper; the date of the September 11th tragedy. After a long night on a movie-generic search engine, with tacky editing interspersed with newspaper clippings, he realises the numbers correlate exactly, and in order, to 'every major disaster in the last 50 years' - and there's still three more dates left!

Writing the above paragraph reminds me of how good the trailer made this movie out to be. Its major flaw, other than a poor script and weak acting, is that there is a pay-off that's been seemingly plucked from some far-out place that left everyone in the theatre baffled and a little angry. The premise just kept stacking up to something huge, over-arching our interest and left everyone praying that everything would come together in a neat little package before the credits rolled.

As the minutes ticked by the superb effects that the CG team had put together genuinely impressed me. Absolutely raw and in-your-face disaster is shown (though admittedly 90 per cent of this can be seen in the trailer) that looked truly stunning on the big screen.

The music too had a Hitchcock-vibe going for it, building up the tense bits with an excruciating but quite beautiful score throughout. If you were blind then this movie might have paid off in fact, but for the average viewer with working eyes then the latter two elements are just simply not enough.

But the minutes continued to tick, and I began to realise that this wasn't all going to come together. I'm not going to dwell on the final half hour, so not to spoil it, but whatever you expect you'll almost definitely be incorrect with; and not in that 'whoa' way that some movies and television shows treat us with sometimes.

I know it's tough to think of an intriguing and original plot that pays off after the two hours are up. The audience want bangs for their bucks now-a-days as well as originality and a bit of a mystery.

Knowing has these ingredients; I just get the sense that some of the crucial people involved threw a bucket-load of absurdity into the mix rather than just a dash it needed.