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Knowing *Spoilers*

Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 10:20pm

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Aculag

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Knowing is advertised as if it's "Next 2". It's Nicolas Cage, and he has obtained forward knowledge of events that are yet to occur. It doesn't appear to be anything special at all, and I wrote it off at first, based on the trailers. It just seemed like a rehash of every other "Numbers = pattern" or "Campy, cliche disaster film."

But it isn't! While it does still have elements of utter camp, and Nic Cage still has his moments of sheer insanity for the sake of it, it does a few things remarkably well. It's shot brilliantly. There are some really nice compositions here and there, and the colors are warm and vibrant. There's a long-shot plane crash sequence that is executed effortlessly (The same scene features some classic, hysterical Nic Cage silliness.) And the acting is definitely passable. There are some spotty performances, but it gets the job done.

I know most people shy away from spoilers, but I'm going to post a spoiler that I think you SHOULD read, because it might change your mind about the film. (Or you can not read it, and just take my word for it and get an awesome surprise!) Highlight to read:

Through the film, we're meant to think that Cage's character will be able to avert the future disasters because he has foreknowledge of the locations, dates, and death-toll of these disasters. But as the smaller events unravel in exactly the manner they're intended, we begin to realize that there isn't anything that anyone can do to stop what's coming, and the film ends with the complete destruction of Earth. Everyone dies, except for a scant few, chosen in advance by a highly evolved race of aliens. It's also heavily suggested that the aliens have visited Earth before, and are in fact the basis for most religions.

I have to applaud Alex Proyas for taking such ambitious risks with what would otherwise be a by-the-numbers (pun intended) thriller. It's not the greatest movie, and it will definitely have you laughing when you're not intended to laugh (or are you?) but it is highly enjoyable, and the risks it takes are well worth the ticket price. The third act alone is worth it.

I'd give it a 4/5.

Anyone else see it?
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 11:24pm

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jawajohnny

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I'm really into this kind of stuff. I hadn't heard great things about it, but after reading Roger Ebert's review, I'll definitely have to check it out.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 4:22am

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The Strider

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[Rorschach Voice]You people don't understand. This film isn't a movie. It is an experience.[/Rorschach]

I saw it tonight, and, well, d**n. It was incredible. I wrote an article about it on my blog, where I explain in more detail, so I'll just sum it up: It was insane. Tragic, hopeful, scary, poignant... everything I want out of a great movie, and not just transcending a genre's trappings, it blows them away with a shotgun blast to the metaphorical face. Philosophically interesting and haunting. Not one of my favorite films, but definitely a ride.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 4:27am

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Pooky

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How'd it get burned? HOW'D IT GET BURNED? HOW'DITGETBURNEDHOW'DITGET BUUURRNEED?!

Cage craziness is awesome smile
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 4:40am

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Atom

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Haha, Pooky. But pllllzzzzzz. He really is: Best. Actor. Ever.

Matchstick Men, Leaving Las Vegas, Lord of War, The Weather Man, Adaptation, The Family Man. Easily the greatest actor also considered a terrible actor- right above Tom Cruise. He has fun with what he does, he's already won an Oscar; so who can blame him? Does whatever he wants.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 5:57am

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FreshMentos

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Whoa, I actually want to see this now. Just seeing that someone such as Aculag liked this kind of film, is enough for me to check it out.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 7:09am

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Aculag

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FreshMentos wrote:

Whoa, I actually want to see this now. Just seeing that someone such as Aculag liked this kind of film, is enough for me to check it out.
I'll take that as a compliment! smile

And yeah, Atom, he really is a great actor, and it really shows that he has a blast making movies. He always seems very down to earth in interviews, and he fully admits to doing bad movies because they're fun as hell. I love Nic Cage. This movie has some seriously excellent Nic Cage moments.

Being completely insane is the reason he's so great. He can get away with it, and it makes him totally bad ass.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 10:01am

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Simon K Jones

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Predicting the future WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GODDAMN HONEY.

Nic Cage has kinda evolved into the male Denise Richards for me: in other words, he can almost single handedly ruin a film.

On the other hand, Alex Proyas is great, and Aculag is also great, so maybe I'll give this a shot after all...
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 1:57pm

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Mellifluous

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I love Nicolas Cage and the things he does in movies, and I love Proyas (Dark City...I,Robot less so) so I can't wait for Knowing. Cage was brilliant in Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, Face/Off, Lord of War, Adaptation, was fine in Next, made National Treasure more watchable than it merited...it's fun to watch him descend into his usual zaniness he brings to his roles - and just enjoy it.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 2:28pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

Mellifluous wrote:

made National Treasure more watchable than it merited...
Interesting, I thought he added considerably to the film's general awfulness.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 2:36pm

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Pooky

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Tarn wrote:

Mellifluous wrote:

made National Treasure more watchable than it merited...
Interesting, I thought he added considerably to the film's general awfulness.
For me he kinda makes campy unrealistic stuff like that movie bearable to watch.

And come on, The Wicker Man was so crappy it was hilarious:

*Cage walks up to woman*
*They both glare at each other for a few seconds*
*Cage punches her in the face*
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 2:37pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I love cage in YouTube 'best of' videos, but I've not enjoyed watching him in an actual movie since, I dunno Face/Off probably.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 4:18pm

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Pooky

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Didn't like Lord of War? That's the last good movie of his I remember seeing.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 6:02pm

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Atom

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Yeah, I'd agree, Pooky. Although I loved the first National Treasure simply for it's fluffy-fun reversion of The DaVinci Code and thought Cage made it much, much better.

And Tarn: WHAAAAATT??!?!? The last movie you enjoyed him in was Face/Off? Have you not seen Matchstick Men (an incredibly satisfying and surprising movie) or Adaptation???

I mean, the man's won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a hard year to win it too, Tarn. He can't be that terrible. Have you seen The Weather Man? I think it's an incredibly underrated, unwatched movie. Really excellent; held together masterfully by Michael Caine and Nicolas Cage's father-son relationship.

Come to think of it, it also had a really excellent trailer. Gave off the feeling of the movie really well. Watch it, please. Here.

Oh, and this.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 8:54pm

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Aculag

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You guys need to spend less time deciding how awesome Nicolas Cage is, and more time going to watch him in Knowing. smile

Ps. Both National Treasure films are awesome, but the first one is slightly more so.
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 1:34am

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MoltenWhale

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Tarn wrote:

Mellifluous wrote:

made National Treasure more watchable than it merited...
Interesting, I thought he added considerably to the film's general awfulness.
Tarn angry, Tarn smash, Tarn Smash good.
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 2:43am

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The Strider

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Cage isn't bad. He's just shot that way.

No, really, he isn't bad at all. Heck, Michael Caine, whom I admire greatly, has been notorious for showing up in inexplicably bad movies, like 'Jaws: The Revenge'. While I wouldn't put Cage on the level of Caine, I'm not blaming him for being an actor who works for a living.

In any case, he was just fine in 'Know1ng'. Not spectacular, but never over-the-top.
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 9:08am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I've not seen Lord of War, Matchstick Men or Adaptation. All films I'm quite interested in, but am put off watching due to the presence of The Cage.

Really perplexed about the love for National Treasure. I genuinely thought it was one of the most incompetent films I'd ever seen. Not even fun in a 'so bad it's good' kind of way. Maybe it only really plays well if you're American?
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 3:30pm

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Atom

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Probably so. I loved National Treasure, thought it was really fairly lightly clever and fun.

Matchstick Men, Adaptation, and Lord of War are all excellent movies/premises that are essentially made by Cage playing whoever he plays. The great thing about both Adaptation and Matchstick Men is that Cage was overweight during those years and was at the height of his ability to play the 'overweight neurotic genius'- which of course he's perfect for- and both are great.

Matchstick Men, in particular, is easily one of the better displays of acting from a name Hollywood actor I've ever seen. Yes, I'm willing to be that bold. Your ignorance is causing you to mis outs on all the wondrousness of Nicolas Cage, Tarn, and it's killing me. smile
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 3:44pm

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Sollthar

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Matchstick Men is rather brilliant, I'd agree. You should definately see it if you get a chance Tarn.
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 3:46pm

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Simon K Jones

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Hm, OK, I'll check it out, then. If both Atom and Sollthar like it, then there must be something going on.

Although I've never had a film recommended to me before with the reasoning "it's great because nic cage is a bit fat in it".
Posted: Sat, 28th Mar 2009, 7:41pm

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jawajohnny

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Hmm... I'm thinking if this happens, it will likely be a disaster. razz
Posted: Sat, 28th Mar 2009, 11:07pm

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Pooky

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The only Batman villain I can imagine Cage as is the Mad Hatter.
Posted: Sat, 28th Mar 2009, 11:47pm

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Terminal Velocity

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I like Cage. He's not the best, but I like him.

The ones I really like are Tom Cruise and that guy who played Jack Aubrey in "Master and Commander". I can't remember his name though...

EDIT: Oh yeah, it's Russell Crowe.

Last edited Tue, 31st Mar 2009, 1:30am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 12:04am

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Thrawn

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SPOILERish
Well, I saw knowing yesterday and I must say that I was quite dissopointed. The plot was very predictable. I expected to have it end on a 'WOW', but instead I just shrugged and walked out the theater. Cage's acting was OKAY, but nothing to write home about. The kid actor, however, was terrible. By the third or so line in the movie, I was all why on earth would they pick this kid for a lead role? I even found that the films visual effects were rather iffy. The plane crashing was fantastic, but the burning forest? Like I said before, the plot was extremely predictable. I'd give it a 6/10 at best.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 12:39am

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The Strider

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Thrawn wrote:

SPOILERish
Well, I saw knowing yesterday and I must say that I was quite dissopointed. The plot was very predictable. I expected to have it end on a 'WOW', but instead I just shrugged and walked out the theater. Cage's acting was OKAY, but nothing to write home about. The kid actor, however, was terrible. By the third or so line in the movie, I was all why on earth would they pick this kid for a lead role? I even found that the films visual effects were rather iffy. The plane crashing was fantastic, but the burning forest? Like I said before, the plot was extremely predictable. I'd give it a 6/10 at best.
I won't begrudge you an opinion, but I wonder if you were watching the same movie I was.

And the kid actor wasn't great, but wasn't any worse than your typical "movie kid in an emotional role"-type. In my opinion.

But now that I have said my useless two-cents, I will disappear into the night.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 1:27am

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Thrawn

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The Strider wrote:

Thrawn wrote:

SPOILERish
Well, I saw knowing yesterday and I must say that I was quite dissopointed. The plot was very predictable. I expected to have it end on a 'WOW', but instead I just shrugged and walked out the theater. Cage's acting was OKAY, but nothing to write home about. The kid actor, however, was terrible. By the third or so line in the movie, I was all why on earth would they pick this kid for a lead role? I even found that the films visual effects were rather iffy. The plane crashing was fantastic, but the burning forest? Like I said before, the plot was extremely predictable. I'd give it a 6/10 at best.
I won't begrudge you an opinion, but I wonder if you were watching the same movie I was.

And the kid actor wasn't great, but wasn't any worse than your typical "movie kid in an emotional role"-type. In my opinion.

But now that I have said my useless two-cents, I will disappear into the night.
(Spoiler)

I'd say that he was significantly worse than many other 10 year old child actors I've seen recently. It was as if he had never seen the script before, and was reading it off from a telepromter or something.. I don't know, maybe that's just me. The dialog was also extremely awkward. It really wasn't realistic or natural. The kid also seemed to have two sides to him. At first he seemed like a stuck up kid that missed his mother (e.g. him watching the video of his mom before bed) but then he completely transformed to someone who was much more attached to his dad and became the 'loyal' son or whatever. Honestly, I think they should have had the kid remain as a kid who misses his mom, even though it's extremely cliche. But that's just my opinion.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 1:52am

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The Strider

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Hmm. While I maintain that your opinion is your own and I'm fine with that, after seeing it twice I really haven't noticed those problems.
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 4:23am

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Zorn8

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I saw it a few days ago. I was going to see it opening night but before we left to go see it I saw that the critic rated it one star. Now I don't usually care about what the critics say, but I rarely see a movie get rated one star. So I decided not to see it. A friend kept asking to go so I finally decided to go. I went into the theater knowing that I had just wasted ten bucks but I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I recommend this to everyone!
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 5:05pm

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Mellifluous

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Saw it. Didn't see the ending coming but it all fitted when I thought about it. Overall, decent film. Not a clanger, but not amazing either, because with that type of ending you're presented with too many questions about motives, number of times it's happened etc. Also, if it's happened before why did it happen again? Unless I'm missing something, it wasn't man made, which means it was determined or the you know who's were stupid.
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 11:55pm

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Aculag

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Mellifluous wrote:

Also, if it's happened before why did it happen again? Unless I'm missing something, it wasn't man made, which means it was determined or the you know who's were stupid.
It's happened before, but not on Earth. Eventually the same thing will happen again on the planet the little kids are on. Everything dies.
Posted: Wed, 1st Apr 2009, 6:37pm

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Bryce007

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My favorite part about this film is just how awful the storyline is, and the way Nick Cage looks tense all the time. There's something satisfying about the fact that all of his efforts were in vain...
Posted: Wed, 1st Apr 2009, 6:53pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Bryce007 wrote:

My favorite part about this film is just how awful the storyline is, and the way Nick Cage looks tense all the time. There's something satisfying about the fact that all of his efforts were in vain...
Cynical? Seems like Cage always looks tense.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Apr 2009, 8:23am

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Simon K Jones

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All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.

Sorry, wrong series.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Apr 2009, 7:12pm

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Evman

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So I walked out of my class yesterday, and there was a crowd of people. I went over, and there, filming a movie right in Washington Square Park, was Nicholas Cage. He was dressed in a long black trenchcoat, a black hat, and had long hair and beard.

It was the most bizarre thing ever. Apparently the movie is called The Sorcerer's Apprentice. I saw the monitor of what they were filming, and they made that park look badass.

Nic Cage walked within 15 feet of my friend and me, and we had a mini geek out moment - in which we both completely forgot to take out our cameras. I got a few iphone pictures of low quality from very far away, but you can't really tell that it's him.

Awesome, nonetheless. The dude he was playing the scene with was the guy in Knocked Up who walked in on the birth scene, and got really freaked out. Not sure of his name, but I recognized him.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Apr 2009, 11:58pm

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Aculag

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice? As in, made famous by Fantasia? This could be interesting...
Posted: Fri, 3rd Apr 2009, 3:19pm

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Mantra

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Aculag wrote:

The Sorcerer's Apprentice? As in, made famous by Fantasia? This could be interesting...
http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=12745&count=0

Mantra
Posted: Fri, 3rd Apr 2009, 6:53pm

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Evman

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Yeah, that was the best picture I could get with just my iPhone. If you zoom in you might be able to tell, but the costumes definitely match the better pictures that Mantra just posted.
Posted: Mon, 6th Apr 2009, 12:28am

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Pooky

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Okay, I saw this the other day, and I have two questions that I hope you guys can answer:

Why did the aliens choose a girl to write a list of world catastrophes 50 years before the end of the world? Why not just give the date of the end of the world since you can't stop the catastrophes anyway. It all seems a bit pointless.

Secondly, why did Nic Cage's son start writing numbers at one point? There aren't any catastrophes left, because the end of the world is coming. It makes no sense.
Posted: Sat, 11th Apr 2009, 6:58am

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Sollthar

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Saw it yesterday and, while I liked Proya I,Robot and some of the ideas behind this film, I thought it was pretty much terrible. Nicolas Cage is unwatchable in this as he tries hard to give more then one facial expression, treats his son like a dog and conveys no emotions whatsoever. The direction is terribly IN-YOUR-FACE so that even little kids can follow the philosophy and the screenplay if filled with logical errors, don't-asks and what-the-hell-were-they-thinking moments.
Quite obviously, the camera man knew what he was doing, but also quite obviously, there were many things in this film that were done for visual reasons only and had no reason at all other then it "looked cool".

The airplane shot was great though, despite some very, very dodgy compositing with fire.

We had a good time laughing at many parts of the film and I couldn't help but cheer when one of the lead characters finally died, as she annoyed the hell out of me.

This is as "by the numbers" as you can get. And it's a really obvious example of "how to structure a story and create characters", but fails miserably. Real shame.

3 / 10