Breezy spy thrillers all have one thing in common; they’re fun. While not the smartest thing to come out of Hollywood, Knight and Day is a heck of a lot of fun, and provides more than one laugh along the way. Plus the man behind the camera is a capable director whose movies brought two of Hollywood’s most famous their Oscars.
Knight and Day (2010) Film Review
The airport brings all sorts of travelers to busy terminals, all with different destinations. June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is on a return trip to Boston after a quick trip to Wichita for specialty parts for an old car she’s restoring. Her plan is to give the car to her sister as a wedding present. When she encounters problems with her flight, she bumps into – literally, the same man, twice. Initially denied a seat on the same flight that the stranger is also boarding, she is let on just before takeoff where she properly meets the mysterious Roy Miller (Tom Cruise).
Attracted to Roy, June attempts to flirt with this stranger, all unaware of who Roy really is. Then Roy tells her everyone on the plane, but the two of them, are dead. June doesn’t take this news well. Somehow she, along with Roy, survives a crash landing, only to awake the next morning in her own bed. Assuming her life will go back to normal in spite of warnings from Roy, she goes about her day. When she is snatched by Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard), Roy again appears in her life. Complete with car chases and exotic travel, June quickly learns, “normal” is no longer an option.
It would be an indisputable point to say that watching this feels like landing in one of the biggest cinematic messes to appear on screens in some time. (Which I mean in the best way.) In fact there is rarely a moment that pauses to catch a breath. Let’s just go through the checklist. Guys wield heavy guns: check! Guys running around trying to kill everyone who cross their path: check! Exotic locations: check! For an action flick, this has everything “required” for its genre; basically it’s the baddies who chase the people who are really the good guys despite appearances. And I love every single second of it.
Given its genre and plot, this one has some challenges. Knight and Day meets some adequately but others it does not. Much to my delight, there are actually several levels of this film that surprise me. My impression is that this was a semi-serious action movie that would bring a fair balance of emotions with the appropriate instances of humor, but instead, what rules is slapstick comedy. Unfortunately, for all of today’s technology, events that are supposed to be dangerous don’t look “real” and because of this, it doesn’t feel like the setting really poses a threat to the characters. Having said that, if a high-octane, action-packed film is something that sounds appealing on a Saturday afternoon, this does not disappoint (it’s something I’ve liked better and better each time I re-watch it.)
Since it seems like June spends a lot of time drugged (for safety), it doesn’t give Cameron Diaz much time to embody a character nevertheless she still does a good job with what she has to work with. She stays a naïve, girl-next-door character who at first finds meeting a mysterious man of danger “cool” but ultimately feels threatened (as is realistic). Likewise Roy is a likable hero (despite my mediocre feelings about Tom Cruise); he has a lot of fun quirks However, that is where a respectable script ends. The twist is almost laughable since it’s nothing extraordinary. The mystery of not knowing who Roy Miller is – what he is running from and what he is protecting creates some nice suspense even with such an emphasis on comedic antics, but writers’ kind of fall flat with the reveal.
With this pair constantly on the move, the filming is full of exotic locales; from an island to Austria and Spain, and some U.S. locations in-between, there is some gorgeous locations. It’s the action sequences that I need improvement. Despite petty complaints, I know I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially since this accomplishes wiping away all serious thoughts, something that is too heavily on the minds of many of us. And I like the super cute “twist” at the end in seeing June get in her tiny act of “revenge.”
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Note: this review was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has also been updated with new photos, and republished.
Originally published February 23, 2012
CONTENT: this movie is PG13; bullets spray the air constantly; there’s punches, and with that the inevitable amount of screaming bystanders. Characters die a variety of different ways; knives are thrust into chests, bullets riddle them or they are hit by a train. Two car chases bookend the movie. Profanity peppers the script [s**t, d**n, etc. “Christ” is misused at least once]. June is given a number of different drugs, unknowingly but each merely knocks her “out” to save her life. After being given a type of truth serum, she is a bit loopy and exclaims she’d like to have sex with Roy.