Review: Knight and Day

Posted June 23rd, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I was initially drawn to the Knight and Day based largely on how it appeared to offer a vibe similar to that of one of my all-time favorites Grosse Pointe Blank. That subtle/dark humor that has a main character acting so calm and confident through even the most ridiculous of situations while maintaining that all of it is pretty much normal is at the heart of both films. It works just as well here as it did back then though in a much more action-packed scenario.

In Knight and Day the main character in question is Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) a secret agent attempting to protect a power source that has an FBI agent hunting him down to acquire and terrorists hoping to purchase. By chance he runs into June Havens (Cameron Diaz) who gets dragged unwillingly into the situation. Her involvement with him makes her a target and the two must find a way to survive together.

Ultimately what a movie of this nature comes down to is whether or not the characters are fun to watch. In that regard Knight and Day succeeds beyond expectations. Tom Cruise clearly had fun making this movie and that comes through in the performance. It’s nice to see him considering lighter roles, with Knight and Day providing action along the lines of his Mission: Impossible franchise but the intensity tempered by the comedic slant. While the side characters end up mostly forgettable that actually turns out to be a good thing because it meant more screen time for the Cruise and Diaz.

That brings me to Cameron Diaz. This is really the first time I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her in a movie since the 90s. She was completely believable playing someone vulnerable and out of her element while at the same time providing a toughness that made it seem she could probably take care of herself if she needed to. I wouldn’t say that the chemistry between her and Cruise was exceptional, but there was something really satisfying about how their relationship developed in unique ways (such as how he would note being impressed with certain things she did).

I really dug the mix of action and comedy. In a lot of cases movies that try to blend both end up forcing one or the other or the balance ends up being off. In this case I thought both sides were represented well and came through naturally. This was my type of humor so I expected that much but I came away impressed by the action scenes which I didn’t anticipate would be that well thought out and entertaining.

While I also like that they left some of the escapes to the imagination (which is at least different) in a way I would’ve like to have seen how Miller got himself or the both of them out of those dire situations. Scenes where Diaz is drugged because she was becoming unmanageable and wakes up only to get glimpses of what was taking place at the time provide some great laughs though in the process.

There were only a few things that were bothersome and those were minor continuity errors. For example they jump into water on numerous occasions but their cell phones work in subsequent scenes. Those kind of things tend to stand out to me but given the over-the-top nature of the film I didn’t find too difficult to overlook. Given that is all the negative I can point out it goes to show how much I enjoyed the entire package.

Knight and Day provides a terrific blend of action and humor. Charismatic performances from the leads sell it in a way that makes it tough to imagine anyone else in their respective roles. Knight and Day is simply a fun ride throughout making it my favorite movie of the summer so far.

Rating: ★★★★☆