Movie Review: Knight and Day
With Knight and Day, Tom Cruise has apparently come to the realization that his zany irreverence is better suited for the big screen than Oprah’s couch. His fans thank him for it, as Knight and Day delivers the best Cruise we’ve seen since 2004’s Collateral.
He is downright hilarious and has never been more believable as an ass-kicker as he fends off all sorts of baddies who desperately want the super-battery he is in the possession of. Cruise’s dominance comes at the expense of Peter Sarsgaard and Viola Davis, two normally great actors who go through the motions in their shallow roles as two of the aforementioned baddies.
The plot, you ask? We don’t need no stinkin’ plot. We’ve got Tom Cruise, dammit!
Then there’s Cameron Diaz, who we last saw drowning an otherwise very lively film in last year’s The Box. She can stink it up when she’s miscast, but luckily Knight and Day gives her the type of role she can excel in. She can hoot and holler with the best of ’em and is understandably flustered as she becomes Cruise’s unlikely partner-in-crime. Their early travels are exclusively landlocked in the contiguous states with stops in Kansas and Boston, yet they’re awkwardly set to a score that sounds like it’s out of some sort of Spanish paradise. Don’t worry, the exotic locales come later.
I’m not so sure I buy Diaz as a muscle car enthused gear-head, but she’s definitely more convincing than Megan Fox was in the Transformers movies. She also has this strange propensity for reading aloud everything she sees on the screen of a computer or cell phone. Is it helpful to the audience? Probably. A lazy and distracting narrative device? Certainly!
There are shades of North by Northwest here, not so much in the form of the plot but in the way the film swiftly moves between ridiculous and clever set pieces without Cruise and Diaz’s trackers ever being too far behind. There’s one scene in particular where we the pair running from an airplane on Cruise’s supposedly undetectable private island. Granted, we’re looking at a swimsuit-clad Cruise and Diaz as opposed to a business-suited Cary Grant in a cornfield, but the effect is basically the same.
The CGI can be pretty shoddy at times but that doesn’t take anything away from the real strength of the film, which is the terrific chemistry between these two massive stars. Knight and Day isn’t a great movie, but it’s a highly enjoyable adult-targeted flick in a season when there aren’t many films released in that direction.
RIYL: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, True Lies, North by Northwest.