I have glimpsed the future. It is dark. There is much discontent. People have just seen Nicolas Cage's new apocalyptic thriller, and they want their money back.

I have glimpsed the future. It is dark. There is much discontent. People have just seen Nicolas Cage's new apocalyptic thriller, and they want their money back.

In Knowing, Cage plays a single dad whose son brings home a sheet of seemingly random numbers unearthed from a school time capsule. Cage spots an emerging pattern: the numbers correspond to the dates and death counts of nearly every major disaster of the past five decades. And guess what? Three of the disasters haven't happened yet.

Director Alex Proyas (The Crow) dumbs down his doomsday plot to what amounts to disaster porn. It gets queasy thrills from the sort of mass chaos that entertained pre-9/11 audiences in Independence Day. But he seems unable to tell his story without having Cage's character speaking his every thought so the slower members of the audience can keep up.

Still, there's an intriguing concept here. In better hands - such as those of Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly, who was originally slated to direct - it might have been worthwhile.