First and foremost......
THIS MOVIE SUCKED DONKEY TAIL!!!!
Sorry for my brashness there, but it just about sums it up. As the credits rolled I said "I wasted a movie coupon for this?!?!" The only good things about seeing this movie, was the previews before it. First was another teen horror slasher movie. (Pass!) Pelam 123 w/Denzel and Travolta. (Pass!) Terminator Salvation (hearing Bale in his Batman voice - I'm 50/50 on it.) Star Trek (sweet upon sweet, with a mixture of kickask & Sylar as Spock!!) And lastly, X-Men Wolverine. (Awesome upon Awesome - Sabertooth/Liev Schriber "Oooo, those look shiny!") There was also Next Day Air, and Drag Me To Hell. Big pass on both of those as well.
Don't get me wrong, I do like Nicholas Cage. He is probably one of my favorite actors along with Tom Hanks, and a few others that don't come to mind right now. And it was either this or Fast & Furious, or Hanna Montana. I think I wanted to see this because its Nick and he has to figure out another clue, similiar to one my favs - the National Treasure movies. But he figures this thing out in the movie a little too quick, and it kind of got carried away. So, incoming spoiler alert. If you would rather see the movie, don't read the white box. But if you'd like a recap of it, and save yourself the money and the time, like I'm suggesting here, please read on and you will save yourself the misery. So once again, incoming spoiler alert!!! And sorry, it's a lil long.
The movie starts out in October 1958 at a elementary school in Massachusets. A young girl named Lucinda Wayland who looks a little creepy is staring into the sun during recess. And you hear strange noises, like crackling or whispering voices when you watch her. The kids are called back to class where the school teacher announces the winner of a school project involving a time capsule. The winner turns out to be young Lucinda who appears rather shocked she won. The teacher asks the students to put on their thinking caps and draw a picture on what they think the future will look like. Because their pictures will be placed into the time capsule and opened by new students 50 years later. (Your head should automatically be doing the math by now.) All the kids draw their pictures, but young Lucinda while in a trance like state, is writing down a list of numbers on the entire piece of paper. The teacher asks the students to finish their drawings, and when she comes to Lucinda who hasn't stopped writing the numbers, the teacher looks at what she is doing. She tells her that she was supposed to draw a picture, asks her to stop again, and then takes the paper away from Lucinda, to be put with the rest to go in the capsule.
The next scene is the dedication ceremony at the school where the capsule is now being buried. It is still 1958, and the school teacher sees little Lucinda standing in the distance, looking a little odd. The teacher turns back to the capsule ceremony, where it is buried and sealed by a steel plate showing the present date, and the year it is to be opened. She looks back to the spot where she saw Lucinda, and the girl is gone.
Night has fallen in 1958 at the school, and everyone is looking for Lucinda who has gone missing. The teacher is searching inside the school, and makes her way down to the basement. She hears scratching noises coming from a nearby closet. Opening the door, she sees Lucinda, crouched, with her fingers bleeding. She utters "Make them stop. Please make them stop." And the teacher ushers her away, giving a very brief glimpse at the scratch mark at the door.
Credits roll, showing Earth from orbit. As credits roll, the shot gets closer and closer to the United States, and the east coast, which is basked in evening darkness. In each shot, you can make out cities aglow, the freeways & highways and the cars on them, even a few planes in flight for those with sharp eyes. And eventually it centers on a house and it's backyard, and enter Nicholas Cage who plays John Koestler, an MIT professor in Massachusetts, who is looking in a telescope. His very bright son, Caleb Koestler played by Chandler Canterbury, is there with him. After BBQ'ing hot dogs, dad tells son to get ready for bed while son tells dad he is becoming a vegetarian thanks to his cooking. Cute scene. Caleb reminds his dad there is the capsule ceremony tomorrow and it's bedtime.
Next scene shows dad at work, talking to his class about this and that, I won't go into details. Mostly about cause and effect, but centers part of the lecture about the sun, taking the familiar yellow ball from a model of the solar system. He's quizzing students on the reason for the sun, and why it's close to the earth. (This will come into play later on in the film.) During the scene, another professor friend sneaks into the room, and the two of them leave after class talking about dinner plans. The professor friend, Phil Beckman, played by Ben Mendelsohn, is talking with John about dinner plans and seeing a female friend of his brother or sister in law (sorry, don't remember the specifics) but it's all about setting up John with a love interest, because sadly, he's a widower. Phil complains that John always backs out, coming up with some excuse involving Caleb, which causes John to realize he's late for the ceremony and rushes off.
Cut to the school. To sum it up, the capsule is opened, and yes....little Caleb ends up with Lucinda's envelope which has the letter with all the codes in it. Caleb has rushed off with it to open it by himself, seeing it, but not knowing what to do with it. He looks up, and sees a man with platinum blonde hair, wearing a trench coat (looks like Spike from Buffy - but it's not him but there's your visual. But from this point forward, I'm going to refer to him as the swedish whisperers.) Caleb looks back at the letter for a second, then back, and the guy is gone. Dad catches up and they go home. Later on, John sees the letter in Calebs backpack, asking why he has it because it's school property. Caleb thinks it could mean something, but John just places it on the counter and leaves it there, sending Caleb to bed. A little later, John is going upstairs to check on Caleb, peeks in the door, and sees him watching a home movie of his mom. He quickly backs away closing the door, looking like he's gonna cry. He begins to drink (brandy, whiskey, or something) while watching tv. When he looses track and spills the drink, he takes it into the kitchen, placing the wet glass on the paper with the numbers on it. Realizing what he's done, he picks up the glass and now looks at the wet ring on the paper, drawing his attention to a set of numbers within the ring.
He grabs the paper, and goes to a draw erase board. He writes on it 091120012993. Looking over the numbers, he eventually places it as 09/11/2001 2,993. With the help of the internet, he figures out that its about the 9/11 attacks, and the 2993 is the amount who died, including the 19 terrorists. He then starts going through all the numbers, figuring out dates and the death tolls, from events that have happened from all over the world in the past 50 years. The next day, he pays a visit to Lucinda's teacher who is now an old lady. He asks her what happened the day Lucinda wrote the list of numbers, and if he could speak to her. But the teacher says she died several years ago, committing suicide with a drug overdose. The next day, while John is on the phone, Caleb is in the front yard kicking the soccer ball. A car pulls up with two "swedish whisperers in it, who talk to Caleb without saying a word. They apparantly can communicate with Caleb thru ESP or "whispering" as revealed later in the film. Later, John takes the photo he took of the list of numbers to Phil and shows him what he's come up with. Finding it hard to believe that this young girl came up with all these numbers, predicting all these events including the exact dates and the amounts of deaths in each event. What puzzles them is that with each one, there are sets of numbers (2 pairs of 4 numbers with each date/death toll) that aren't circled. They can't quite figure that part out yet. But what scares them, is that the list shows 3 more dates, which have yet to be fullfilled......and they're set to happen in the next few days. The first of the 3 was the very next day, predicting a deathtoll of 81 people!
That evening, John falls asleep on the couch watching tv, waiting for word on the next disaster. He's woken up by the phone ringing. It's Caleb, and he's at school waiting to be picked up, it is already in the afternoon.
John rushes off in his truck and it's pouring rain. As he is going down the highway, he hits traffic making him come to a standstill. He gets on the phone with Phil, apologizing for leaving him in a huff earlier. He then figures out what the third set of numbers are on the list, they're coordinates. And the next one's on the list, are for the exact location he is at on the highway. He gets out of the truck and walks to the blockage in the road. Police are there, attending to an accident. The officer tells John to get back in his car, but then looks past him and gets a look on his face of sheer terror. A commuter plane comes falling out of the sky, crashing through power lines, scraping cars on the highway, before crashing into a fireball in a nearby field breaking apart on contact. John rushes into action, running to the scene. People are on fire, trying to escape the scene. Luckily to the very heavy rain, the dark clouds overhead creating near darkness, the scene is not too grimsly. The tv report later confirms that 81 people died in the crash, proving the prediction right.
John returns home where his sister Grace played by Nadia Townsend is watching Caleb, apparantly picking him up from school. John tells him not to watch tv. Caleb asks him why he's being weird, he wont let him play soccer or watch tv. He runs to his bedroom and slams the door. Later that night, Caleb is apparantly having a dream where he's paid a visit by one of the swed's. He gives him a smooth black stone, then points to the round window which begins to glow with a firey orange. Caleb gets out of bed, looks out the window, and the surrounding woods are lit up in fire like a California wildfire!!! He looks to the ground below where forest animals are fleeing the flames, some of them on fire. And all of this is dangerously close to the house. It's apparantly a vision or a dream, but it has meaning later on in the film. Caleb screams in his sleep, John rushes upstairs to find Caleb crouched by the window crying.
The next day, John with Caleb in tow he goes to the Wayland address in town, where he watches a young mother and her daughter get into a vehicle. The daughter looks a lot like Lucinda when she wrote the list of numbers. He follows her into the city and to a natural history museum. The little girl named Abby is looking at some wolves. John sends Caleb over to her while he talks to the mom. He uses the single dad and the kids to get her in a conversation and invites her to lunch. After she tells him about her failed marriage, she asks him about his. He dodges the question and instead comes clean about why he came to see her, asking her about her mother. She's the daughter of Lucinda and Abby is Lucinda's granddaughter. Mom gets spooked, grabs Abby and leaves, even while John is pleading with her and says that he and his son are somehow involved and connected to her mom's list. She still ignores him and drives off.
The next day, John is watching tv, wondering about the next predicted event. Reporters and government believe there is to be a terrorist attack in NY city. John GPS the next set of numbers and confirms it is in NYC. He tries to place an anonymous phone call to the FBI telling them the location and to clear the area and hangs up. Leaving Caleb with his sister, he flies to NY and goes to the intersection of the coordinates. He finds a busy plaza, asking a police officer why isn't the intersection cleared. He does see FBI in the area, and when he flees from the officer, they give chase thinking he's a terrorist with something up his sleeve. John runs down into the subway station below to see it crowded with people. Looking around for any sign of suspicious activity, he sees a man pick up a box, but he takes it to a nearby newstand. He sees another man hiding something under his coat, standing near the train loading area behind a pole. But the guy sees him and takes off. John gives chase, eventually having police in pursuit of him, and ending up on a subway train that has now left the station. John follows him all the way to the end car, and the police show up as well, pointing their guns at John, who points at the other guy, telling them that's who they want. The other guy turns around, but the only thing that drops out of his jacket is dvds that he stole, claiming hes sorry and wont do it again. But the train is speeding down the hallway, towards another train. There is a track malfunction and the 2 trains are on a collision course at the next station. John tries to get everyone to the next car but it's not done in time. Total chaos that ends in a horrific crash at the next station.
John returns home with Caleb to find Diana (Lucinda's daughter) and Abby sitting on his porch. She heard about the crash and apparantly now believes him. They get into his truck where she's leading them to a trailer her mom lived in before she died. During the drive, John confesses to Diana how his wife died, in a hotel fire in Phoenix which had a large death toll and was one of the dates on the list. They arrive at the trailer in the dead of night. The kids are in the truck while John & Diana are in the trailer looking at pictures and newspaper clippings of all the events. At the end of the list, right at the part where the teacher took the paper away from Lucinda long ago, are the words E E and they wonder what name could they stand for. They go to Luc's bedroom where they find a collection of smooth black stones under the bed. Bending down to get them, John discovers there's scratch marks on the underside of the bed so he tips it up on its side. While he's doing this, several of those swedish guys have come out of the woods and are approaching the truck. It's all the while creepy, and making Abby curious about them so she opens the door. Meanwhile, on the underside of the bed, the words "Everyone Else" is scratched with fingernails all across the wood. John starts to realize that the final event is likely to kill all of mankind. Caleb fearing the worst, hops into the drivers seat and blares on the horn. It scares the swed's away, and brings John & Diana outside. John see's one of the guy's walking off into the woods. He grabs a pistol and follows him, catching up to the creep. He asks what he wants with his son. The guy turns around, doesn't say a word, but opens his mouth and an eye blinding glow comes out (that's some toothpaste was my reaction) disorienting John and the swed disappears.
John takes Diana & the kids to MIT to test a sudden theory he has about the final event. On the news before the plane crash, there was a report about solar flares on the sun. To sum it up, John tells Phil that the sun is going to let off a super flare, that will be shot towards the now aligned first 3 planets, Mercury, Venus, and Earth. (Yeah, they just now told us they're aligned.) They're expecting the flare to wipe out all life on earth. John wonders why he was given this prediction if there is nothing he can do to stop it. Diana tells him she knows of some caves her mom used to take her to and says they can take shelter there. John tells Phil to go home and he takes Diana and the kids to his place to pack up and get ready to leave. Meanwhile when they get home, Caleb starts to hear the same strange noises that Lucinda was hearing. John later finds him in his room doing something at his desk. When John approaches Caleb, he sees that he's writing out a long list of numbers, a whole new one. He tries to get him to stop, but like Lucinda, Caleb is in a trance. John rips the paper away, and Caleb starts to scratch at the table with his fingers, just like Lucinda! John wakes him up, and Caleb looks at the table and asks "Did I do that?"
Next scene, they're in the car going down the highway. Diana asks John where he is going because she notices it is not going to where the caves are. He doesn't answer and pulls up to the elementary school. He runs to find the closet that Lucinda hid in, and rips off the door. He takes it back to his house, despite Diana's protests that they need to leave for the caves. (The solar flare activity is already starting to wreak havoc everywhere.) As John starts to scrape at the paint on the door, Diana runs to the truck and has the kids jump into her car and she takes off, telling Caleb that Daddy will be right behind us. John figures out the coordinates for the next event because that's what Lucinda was scratching on the door. He tries to get a hold of Diana, (and she tries to call him) but there is no signal due to the flare activity.
She pulls into gas station to fill up, and everyone there sees an emergency bulletin on the tv from the government, asking everyone to take shelter. Caleb gets out of the car, and calls John on the payphone. (Thought there was no signal?) He tries to tell him where he is, but Diana comes out and urges him into the car. As she gets on the phone with John, she sees a smooth black stone on the top of the phone. And the sweds show up and take off in her car, with the kids in it. Diana freaks out, jumps into another person's vehicle and chases off after them. Her car is several cars ahead and passes through an intersection on the highway. Diana catches up, but is stuck behind 4 or 5 cars that are now waiting at the light. Frantic, she drives around them and as she tries to go through the intersection, she is blindsided and T-Boned by a huge big rig truck, causing her car to roll over in a horrific crash. She's awake for a short moment to see the stone, still in her hand.
John makes it to the gas station where people are now panicing and looting. He questions the station attendant who tells him some guy took off in her car with the kids, and she went chasing after him. John drives to the crash scene (and you can see plumes of smoke all over the place in the distance) where emergency vehicles are attending to the site and 2 guys are fighting. Diana is an ambulence where EMT's try to save her life but fail, where she dies at exactly midnight, like her mother predicted long ago. After they leave to attend to another victim, John looks over Diana's body and sees the stone in her hand, then rushes off.
Here's where it gets really STUPID!!! John drives back to Lucinda's trailer, sees car tracks leading off into the woods and follows them. He finds Diana's car abandoned, and after walking a short distance, he comes to a clearing where the ground is littered with those smooth stones. He see's one of the swed's, questions where his son is, and Caleb appears holding a white rabbit, saying the whisper people let him have it, and that they've been watching out for them all this time. Abby also appears holding another rabbit. The swed's who are actually aliens, have invited a select few to leave the planet. And Abby & Caleb are invited. The space ship appears (looking like something out of E.T.) When the ship comes down, hovering over their landing spot, the swed's go stand below it and turn to John & the kids. John tries to join them, but the aliens communicate telepathically with Caleb, saying only the chosen ones may come, and his dad isn't invited. Naturally, Caleb doesn't want to leave, begins to cry and so happens the father son moment. Dad tells son to look after Abby and be strong for her. They then go to stand near the swed's (which now reveal themselves as transparant, or ghostly angelic looking aliens) and they all get transported up to the ship. The ship leaves for orbit, where we see other similiar ships also leaving orbit, and eventually hyperspacing or warping off high speed into the spacial sunset. John collapses into tears and passes out.
Morning breaks and John wakes up, gets into his truck and heads back into town, where we see looting and everyone trying to evacuate below skies of smoke and fire, and even an aurora borealis caused by the solar flares. Meanwhile, on a distant planet, we see two kids dressed in different garb and they set down 2 bunnies. They're Abby and Caleb, and they're in the middle of a huge field. They look up to see their ship flying off. When they turn around (with the camera) a rather large white oak tree is shown in the distance, with also many of the other ships also going back up into the sky apparantly dropping off their earthly cargo. I can only imagine that the others were below this tree, which to me, resembled or symbolized the garden of Eden. Hmm. Back on Earth, John goes into the city, stops on a street and gets out. He approaches a townhouse and rings the doorbell. His sister Grace answers, they hug, and go inside. John is reunited with is estranged mom and dad who he hasn't talked to in years apparantly and they all hug. And then all of armageddon begins as the entire earth is engulfed in solar flame, and all of life and humanity is wiped out. Then, the credits roll.
What a waste of time and money. If you read through all of that, well...that pretty much sums it up. Wait for dvd, or put it on your do not see list. I'm definitly posting this one on the worst movie thread here at micechat.
And my apologies once again for the long post.