Knight And Day

Released: 2010
Director: James Mangold

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz


A poor script makes for a tiresome watch

On paper it looks like it can’t fail.  Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in a high octane comedy action adventure.  I like Tom Cruise, I like Cameron Diaz, I like comedy and action.  I’m bound to love Knight and Day.

Well, not really no.  It was alright, an enjoyable enough way to pass a couple of hours before something better came on TV but it was just a bit tiresome….

Cameron Diaz plays June Havens, a classic car restorer trying to get home in time for her sister’s wedding when she meets the mysterious and dangerous Roy Miller.  Miller seems to spend much of his leisure time killing bad guys, crashing planes and drugging the hapless Havens and whisking her around the world.  He claims to have been betrayed by one of his CIA colleagues who has branded him a traitor – he is now fighting to clear his name.  By shooting lots of people (as innocent men are want to do).

There is a storyline about the invention of a super battery which is being sought by an international arms dealer but frankly this is one of the weakest and most stupid plot devices in movie history. And that’s the main problem with Knight and Day.  The story is rubbish and the script is risible.  We stopped the Blu-Ray a couple of times to go back and try to understand what was going on.  Not because it was complex, involving and intelligent but because it was so stupid and over complicated and unbelievable.  Someone really needed to sit writer Patrick O’Neill down and tell him to stop trying to be clever – it wasn’t working.

Cameron Diaz was at her best when she was being cute and sassy.  That didn’t happen nearly enough and she was relegated to spending too much time as a hapless, squealing damsel in distress.  Worse than that – she was a stupid and irritating damsel in distress who decides to fire an automatic weapon blindly just because someone is saying her name?

The best thing by a country mile about Knight And Day was Tom Cruise.  Despite everything – the Scientology zealotry, the jumping up and down on Oprah’s sofa and the increasingly strange behaviour – despite all that I still really, really like him.  I think he has bucket loads of charisma, is a great action star and can deliver a funny line in a deadpan way like few others.  The slight insanity that is all too often recognisable in Cruise works well and we’re never sure if Miller is a good guy who has been betrayed or the traitor that the CIA tell Havens that he is.

The supporting cast generally doesn’t have much to do.  Maggie Grace looks lovely in a wedding dress but that’s it.  Peter Sarsgaard is menacing as Agent Fitzgerald hunting Miller down, but no-one else makes an impact.  I particularly felt that Paul Dano was wasted in his role as the scientific prodigy who creates the ultra super battery.

The action scenes are for the most part good fun and Tom Cruise shows that he’s still pretty bloody good as the action hero.  I was thoroughly disappointed that the film-makers chose to feature a bull-running scene – there is no need to glamourise such a cruel and horrific event and the film could easily have done without it.

Knight and Day is a middling film brought down by a stupidly poor script.  It’s not entirely bad but be grateful that Tom Cruise is the star – he absolutely saves it from disaster.  Worth a one-off watch, but I’m hoping that Cruise’s next action adventure – Mission Impossible 4 – is much, much better.

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