For those who enjoy watching films such as “The Mothman Prophecies“, “Signs“, “White Noise“, “Minority Report“, “Contact” and “The Day After Tomorrow” then you’ll most likely enjoy this movie. You’re going to get disasters, numbers, prophecies, extra terrestrials, and the apocalypse….and last but not least; Nic Cage- with his teardrop eyes and mad professer haircut. By the way, Ebert gave this film 4 stars. Do I agree? Yes and No. Let me explain….
Nic Cage teaches at the Massachusets Institute of Technology and begins to tell his class the difference between determinism (Crap happens for a reason) and realism (Crap just happens). Due to the loss of his wife from a freak accident you can probably guess where Nic Cage’s thoughts lie. He’s a single father to their son, Caleb, and a genius with a penchant for alcohol after bedtime. His son rattles off astronomy numbers, loves animals and decides to become a vegetarian. You get the feeling his son’s pretty damn smart for a reason within the first 5 minutes. Like father like son.
50 years prior at Caleb’s school, a classroom full of kids placed their pictures and messages in a time capsule so that 5 decades later in 2009, another classroom of kids can celebrate them along with the bicentennial of the school’s opening. Not by any random order, Caleb receives the envelope from the strange girl who only wrote numbers on hers. Can you say psycho?
It takes a bit of time for Nic to figure out that this isn’t your average list of numbers; it’s a checklist of every major disaster in the past 50 years with a dotted line to a finale. We see the sun on random things- which should clue me in on something but it doesn’t. I must have taken my stupid pills as I watched this today. Anyways… Nic Cage goes on a rampage trying to stop the casualities to no avail.
Being chased by strange men who also hide outside his house and whisper to Caleb don’t help Nic save the world and add a successful creepy factor to the story.
Nic Cage channels the character perfectly. …perfect enough to not notice he’s acting which is what we want anyways. However I don’t think this character on paper allows him any sort of Oscar worthy performance above let’s say, Tom Cruise’s performance in “War Of The Worlds“.
Rose Byrne joins him as they figure out how everything’s going to go down- and guess what? She knows a bit about these random events because the crazy chick who wrote the numbers was her mother. I think she brings a different taste to the film as opposed to a vanilla Monica Potter who would normally take this type of role.
Let me tell you why you should see this film: the subway scene. It’s fantastic and I believe showcases some of the BEST special effects in a film. The airplane scene was equally as awesome- but if held at gunpoint I’d go for the subway scene. You’ll know what I mean when you watch it.
Overall the story takes you on a nail biting journey that occasionally annoys you because you KNOW a bit about these films by now. It’s very similar in my opinion to the slow pick up, obvious intertwining of characters, and reasons/professions/locations that many movies have these days.
There are a couple wrenches thrown in for good measure that I didn’t see coming so that’s always a plus. Guess what though? These whispers, special kids and prophecies are pointing towards a finale and it’s a bit like Day After Tomorrow, except..not as cheesy. Technically this film has two endings which is sorta cool. Picture the beach scene in the film “Contact” versus the actual final ending when she gets back to the real world and you’ll kind of know what we mean. One thing is for certain…it gets your brain thinking and wondering WHAT IF?