Saturday, November 28, 2009

If These Are The Chosen, I'd Rather Be Damned...

Movie (Spoilers!!!:

Knowing starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne, directed by Alex Proyas (2009): When this movie goes completely off the rails with about 30 minutes to go, what results is one of the most laughable 30 minutes in bad movie history. And it's not like the first 90 minutes were all that great. Mysterious numbers left in a time capsule from 1959 accurately predict major disasters from 1959 to the present. Can widowed astrophysicist Cage save the world?

Well, no, but he does give a lecture on randomness vs. determinism to his astronomy class that doesn't actually explain either principle correctly. And he does reconcile with his pastor father approximately 30 seconds before a solar flare destroys the Earth. And angelic aliens do save his son and a few other people and animals to populate another Earth-like planet somewhere else. See, it's the story of Noah and the flood. Or maybe Sodom and Gomorrah. Or Adam and Eve. Or something. But the angels travel around in UFOs and, for reasons never explained, disguise themselves as people who can't talk and who drive around in what look to be 1970's era Crown Victorias.

There's a great moment when the aliens take Cage's son, a little girl, and two rabbits onto their spacecraft. Cage isn't allowed to go because he isn't one of the Chosen. Anyway, if this movie had had Captain Kirk in it, I imagine Kirk would have argued the angel-aliens into stopping the solar flare. Given that these beings have a fleet of spaceships and premonitory abilities, I have to figure they could stop a solar flare if they wanted to. So I imagine Kirk giving a rousing speech to the aliens/angels, at the end of which one of the beings says, "OK, we'll stop the solar flare. But we're keeping these rabbits!"

Apparently, Heaven exists, so the six billion people who die go to a better place. I don't remember the people left behind by Noah getting that sort of deal, Heaven not having been invented yet, so there is that. The whole thing ends up playing like one of C.S. Lewis's demented Christian science-fiction novels (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, for those who know only Lewis's Narnia books) in which aliens are actually angels. The aliens also travel around in a ridiculously complex looking spaceship that suggests they had a lot of free time to pimp out their ride while they were waiting for the apocalypse.

For all that, the movie is worth watching. There's a spectacular plane crash about 45 minutes in, and the whole thing becomes so ludicrous that it's enjoyable in a pompously, pretentiously overblown way. It's like an episode of the X-Files reimagined by Jack T. Chick.

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