The experience of watching Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz is sort of like eating cotton candy at the fair. It is tasty and you enjoy it but then it dissolves in your mouth and disappears. The movie is fun and light and dissolves right about the time you walk out of the theater.
A glob trotting spy caper, the movie finds June Havens (Cameron Diaz) heading home to Boston for her sister’s wedding. She bumps into a super cute guy and meets cute with him a couple of times on the way to the terminal only to find that somehow her flight has been booked up in the time it took for her to get through security and up to the gate. The charming stranger, Tom Cruise’s Roy Miller, suggests that things happen for a reason. June is then abruptly allowed on the plane and finds it almost completely empty. June is sitting by Roy who introduces himself and while he continues to be charming, he is also looking around at the very few people on the plane with a suspicion obvious to the audience but completely lost on June who is yammering on about god knows what. When she gets up to go to the bathroom, all hell breaks loose and literally everyone else on the plane tries to kill Roy who manages to thwart his assailants but also kill the pilots. Roy lands the plane after breaking the news to June who proceeds to freak out. Roy tells her that the agency he works for is coming after him because they think he has gone rogue and that June shouldn’t trust them. Then she passes out from the drug that he gave her.
When June wakes up the next day in her apartment with news of a plane crash from Kansas to Massachusetts she isn’t sure what to believe and what really happened. Her apartment is littered with notes from Roy reminding her not to tell the agents anything about him and oh he also made her an omelet. She is then pulled out of a dress fitting with her sister by the aforementioned agents and Roy shows up to save the day. From then on out it is nothing but chases and captures and escapes and some more chases and a bit of plot and some chases and more escapes and some more plot and a twist that isn’t really a twist and Tom Cruise killing people in a jean shirt.
Knight and Day is a fun little movie with some talented people acting in it like Cruise and Diaz as well as Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano, Maggie Grace and Marc Blucas but it never really does anything new or special or even particularly exciting. The action scenes are cool but sort of standard. There really isn’t a lot you haven’t seen before, and better.
Not helping matters are the special effects which are okay sometimes and really shitty others but never great. If you are going to use special effects to get away with faking stunts they really need to look better than this. There were way too many times that the excitement of the moment was shattered by super obvious CGI. I am not sure if it was rushed or fell victim to budget but too many of the effects looked sloppy.
All that being said, it is very funny and Tom Cruise in particular takes his newly minted crazy reputation and exploits it by building a quirky and unhinged character that shows off the man’s talent. I mean yeah, he freaked out on Oprah and he is a Scientologist but the dude is a great actor and he has terrific timing.
Cruise’s chemistry with Diaz also helps give life to the film and it is a much more satisfying pairing than the one we saw them in for Vanilla Sky. Diaz plays her role perfectly with just the right amounts of fear, humor and spunk. She doesn’t freak out and yell her lines with her hands thrown up in the air the way Kate Hudson might have done and she doesn’t go from meek and mousy to unmitigated badass the way someone in some other movie I can’t think of right now might have. The character is built with strength and insecurity enough to make her believable throughout the film and given that it is told largely through her perspective that is a good thing.
Conclusion [7.0 out of 10]
At the end Knight and Day is a flawed film but a fun one of the sort that I will remember fondly if I remember it at all and will most likely watch it many more times on cable but I don’t know that I will pick it up on Blu-ray. It is certainly a nice breezy diversion on a hot summer’s day and is a nice change of pace from the sequels and remakes but that is about as far as it goes.