It follows a Professor of Astrophysics at MIT (played by Nicolas Cage), struggling to try to raise his son alone, having lost his wife in a freak accident a year or so prior. Then, one day, he finds himself presented with a number sequence-based puzzle that emerged from a fifty-year-old time capsule and, inexplicably, seems to predict the exact date, location, and number of victims killed in every major global disaster going back to when the numbers were written. As a scientist, he is a natural skeptic (in fact, he’s estranged from his Preacher father as part of his issues with Faith); so, needless to say, the whole concept throws his already shaky world into an even worse state of disarray.
Meanwhile, the sun is in a period of increased activity, causing unusually high temperatures and record-setting droughts as solar flare activity ramps-up. Needless to say, this will play a larger role in the narrative as the movie goes on.
This is an interesting film, because it defies typical Doomer Fiction stereotypes. It could, obviously, be considered a disaster movie as well as apocalyptic — but it also strays into themes that could represent science-fiction and/or Christianity and other forms of spirituality, depending on how the viewer chooses to interpret what they see. Without giving away too much, expect to see allusions to what may or may not be Angels, Extraterrestrials, the Tree of Life, and Adam and Eve; as well as the vision seen by Ezekiel in 1:4-6 of the Old Testament, which some have interpreted as a description of an encounter with an alien spacecraft as seen through the eyes of a Bronze Age prophet with no frame of reference to help him explain what he was seeing. Best of all, I think, the film makes no hamfisted attempts to tell you what you’re seeing; the viewer is free to interpret it however they see fit, and the film’s final moments speak a great deal about Faith, forgiveness, new beginnings, and letting go.
Critics hated this movie, but, then again, half of the movies I’ve ever loved were ones that the critics hated. To be honest with you, I feel like this is a film that will be appreciated more by intelligent people and those who have a leaning toward being spiritual, in a general sense — critics called it cliche, but I was rather moved by it. At the price this film is going for in both Bluray and DVD formats, I’d feel confident recommending it to any fan of the Doomer Fiction genre. If you haven’t yet given it a chance, do so. It isn’t the best, or even one of the best films you’ll ever see, but the odds are you’ll come to the finish feeling as though you more than got your money’s worth.