Rating: 2.5 out of 5
The entire plot and tone of Knight and Day is summarized so neatly in its trailer that you don’t even have to watch the movie to figure it all out. In fact the only thing I couldn’t grasp from the trailer what the title meant.
I was hoping it was more than a literal reference in the vein of Tango and Cash or Turner and Hooch but alas, the film’s titular pun is about as subtle as the film itself. It’d be a spoiler to reveal it, but like I said, nothing in this movie is that hard to figure out.
Classic car enthusiast June Havens (Cameron Diaz) finds herself chatted up by suave stranger Roy Miller (Tom Cruise, seemingly playing a parody of himself and his typecast) on a sparsely occupied airplane. Miller soon turns out to be some sort of secret agent when he begins to slickly kill everyone else on the plane, pilots included, as June preoccupies herself in the lavatory.
Soon June finds herself unwittingly thrust into a world of espionage and explosions – foreign environments to her but just another day to Miller. Although June has no reason to trust the seemingly unstable and shootout prone spy, she finds herself following him around the world from one life threatening situation to another.
The central conceit of this gradual romance is that while Miller does indeed seem dangerously off his kilter, his protective demeanour and soothing ability to talk June through even the most ridiculous situations makes our international man of mystery very attractive and easy to fall for.
Director James Mangold gets to display his action chops here after two, shall we say, more introspective features (Walk the Line, 3:10 To Yuma) and his eye for kinetic frenzy is commendable. The big action set pieces provide decent thrills but do little to distract from the awfulness of the witless banter or clumsy narrative.
To its credit, Knight and Day makes no pretence of plausibility and fully acknowledges that plotting doesn’t matter in midsummer romps such as these by making a running gag out of it. Roy and June will be trapped in an ineludibly hazardous scenario, June girlishly freaks out, Roy drugs her and June wakes up in a different exotic locale safe and sound.
June and the audience is left to assume that the super spy did his Houdini with bullets act in between and why bother with the formalities of actually showing it; let’s just skip ahead shall we? It’s a great joke the first few times but gets incrementally less funny in frequency.
Knight and Day is a screwball-comedy that’s better than the other ‘my-hubby-is-a-spy’ caper out right now (Killers), but not by much. This particular template has been worn thin but as inelegant as Knight and Day is - its breezy inoffensiveness makes it bearable.
About Hidzir Junaini
Hidzir Junaini, aka inSing.com's Movie Lover, is 23-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for Metrowize Asia.
Hidzir is the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.