a critiQal film review Knight and Day (2010)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: June's (Diaz) seemingly harmless blind date suddenly turns her life upside-down when Roy Miller (Cruise), a super spy, takes her on a violent worldwide journey to protect a powerful battery that holds the key to an infinite power source.

700 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 30s)

While Tom Cruise may be almost as well-known for his couch-jumping antics as his movie career these days, he’s still entertaining on-screen. So, when his latest flick, Knight and Day, was headed to theaters, we thought it might be fun to watch.

With him teaming up with Cameron Diaz (who is known more for voicing Fiona in the popular Shrek (2001) series these days), this seemed to be the better of the two similar-themed movies out at the time. The other, of course, is Killers (2010), starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl).

Despite missing it in theaters, we still wanted to find out if Tom and Cameron had the making of a decent on-screen action comedy duo. So when Knight and Day arrived via NetFlix®, we put away our recent Christmas loot and sat down to find out.

Tom Cruise’s couch-jumping antics have helped make him a laughingstock among moviegoers, and viewers aren’t quite ready to see him take on a serious action role. But they still like him funny, as his brief appearance in Tropic Thunder (2008) proved. As it turns out, Knight and Day is perfectly suited for him right now, since he gets to play a little wild and crazy for laughs. And, since the viewer is still laughing at him a bit, it’s an easy transition for them to laugh with him. He plays up the crazy, downplays the super spy, and seems to be having a lot of fun doing it. Thankfully, that fun is infectious.

Cameron Diaz, finally back on the big screen in a non-animated picture, has a background in action comedy (Charlie’s Angels (2000)). She obviously remembers quite a bit about it as she takes on Knight and Day. Her best moments are when she’s oblivious to the action around her (having stereotypical “dumb blonde” moments). She does seem to lose a bit of the fun along the way, but the viewer will still like watching her plunge recklessly in over her head time and time again.

Marc Blucas, a former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (TV) boyfriend, pops up as Diaz’s friend. Despite a ridiculous-looking mustache and brief screen time, he turns out to be more memorable than most of the rest of the cast (including a rather dull Peter Sarsgaard).

The story is pretty straight-forward, and falls along the lines of the typical spy/innocent bystander shtick. The innocent bystander (usually female) gets caught up in a crazy spy chase. The bystander spends most of their time just hanging on to the typically macho role, who risks life and limb time and time again to save the damsel in distress.

Knight and Day does mix it up a bit – mostly by making the macho role a bit crazy, so the damsel in distress isn’t sure she wants to stick around her “savior”. But for the most part, the film sticks with the basics, which the viewer will be able to follow along with easy enough. It gets a bit more complicated as different situations are thrust into this hero and damsel’s path, but never too complicated the viewer won’t be able to easily keep up.

The action sequences are decent, with a few spectacular sequences (an emergency plane landing, a high-speed freeway chase where the hero spends most of his time hanging onto the outside of a car) mixed in with the normal fisticuffs/martial arts fight sequences. This diversity mixed with the tongue-in-cheek whimsy with which the scenes are played out makes for fun viewing even when re-watching the film.

While I wasn’t super-excited about seeing Knight and Day, I figured it wasn’t going to be that bad – a chick flick that guys might be able to stand, thanks to Diaz and Cruise. As it turns out, the dynamic duo of a slightly kooky Cruise and a fish-out-of-water Diaz turned out to be a lot better than expected. With a basic storyline, some fun action sequences, and Cruise having fun with his character, Knight and Day is definitely worth the price of admission.

And since it’s now available on DVD, it’s that much easier to sit down, pop some popcorn, and enjoy some good action comedy with Knight and Day whenever you like.

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