Knight and Day Review
“Underwhelming Feeling, Undeniable Fun”
June 25th, 2010
When witless, cutesy June Havens (Diaz) bumps into demi-god Roy Miller (Cruise), she is thrown into a world of assassin's greed, political scandal, and breathtaking locations. Never knowing who she can trust, she must simply go with the flow in every scenario. That is exactly how we as the audience must react--simply go with the flow.
James Mangold, who has made some great star-driven pictures (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma), has created a mindless indecisive picture that manages to be enjoyable and lighthearted. The movie takes us to wild locations from the Alps to Spain to a deserted island. I also discovered that every mode of transportation is exposed to Tom Cruise's wizardry on this movie (Plane, train, boat, motorcycle, car, etc.).
I would have loved to attend the session when this movie was pitched to Fox execs. "Let's take the two best looking smiles in Hollywood (Cruise and Diaz) and put them in a movie together where they are constantly attacked, giving them a chance to run around in numerous fashionable costumes and set locations." "Great idea!"
The movie is not deep, even though sadly it tries to be. The deeper plot, in all ridiculousness, is about the power of the everlasting battery. Seriously. The science of it all, THANKFULLY, was not focused on at all really, and we are led simply to just accept it (go with the flow).
The ideology here is that June is useless in her frilly, frantic motions of absurd panic (even though she was supposedly raised as her dad's toughened-up 'son'), and that Roy, as stated earlier, is a demi-god, never seeming to be conquered by anything. **see spoiler at the end** Once accepted, we learn to appreciate and familiarize ourselves with these characters, but again, we must go with the flow.
The romance between Cruise and Diaz is present, though not in any way believable. Their toothpaste-commercial smiles lock on each other, though it seems as though they are more pleased with themselves than each other. The romance is inevitable, but I never bought it. Their snippy banter in the first two-thirds of the movie was refreshing and quite hilarious. But of course it is all abandoned in the end when they discover how they truly feel about each other. Sigh.
Knight and Day sets up no time to explain itself. It simply moves forward head-first. The action is terrifically entertaining, the stunts are impossibly crafted but a feast for the eyes, and the look of the movie is fabulous. The movie parades itself as a fashion show of the world, its stars, and its glam. It shows off its unstoppable characters and plays heavily on their witty conversations. The self-obsession in this movie is cheap, but pleasantly digestible. We come to the point where resisting it is futile because it is just too much fun.
The nonsensical plot, star-driven screenplay, and the cheeseball of a movie that it is doesn't make it a bad film. These two leads are so likable and so fun that soon we have retracted our critiquing claws to simply go with the flow.
**SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER**
A list of Tom Cruise's injuries/fatalities in his godly form of Roy Miller: He is shot at about 783 times, a bullet grazes his rib cage, he punched in the face numerous times, he gets thrown into the window of a train car, he is chased by charging bulls, bombed by a plane, he is left to pilot a crashing plane, thrown off of a roof of a car, thrown onto another car, he has a large truck nearly roll over his stomach while on the roof of the car, gets thrown to the ground by Diaz, gets drugged by Diaz, was killed in Kuwait in his early twenties, he drowns and is killed later in the movie, before finally being shot in the stomach and going to the hospital where he is then rescued roughly in his 'critical' condition. Dang.