Tom Cruise has always been one of my favorite actors, and I never really bought into the reasons why everyone began disliking him so much. Bottom line is that this guy is a movie star, and he has charisma on screen. ‘Knight and Day’ reminds you that Cruise still has the ability to carry a big budget action flick, and without him the film would have probably fallen the way of ‘The Bounty Hunter’, for instance. His character, Roy Miller, is sort of a mix between Jerry Maguire and Ethan Hunt. He’s quick witted (Maguire) and can also kick some major ass (Hunt). Problem is that this film would have worked better about 15 years ago, about the time when the Hunt and Maguire characters made their debut.
The film has a rather simple story and it relies heavily on the chemistry between Cruise and Cameron Diaz, who plays June. Diaz does a decent job here, but it’s nothing like her performances in ‘Charlie’s Angels’ or ‘There’s Something About Mary’. When it’s all said and done, she is just not that memorable. Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Fitzgerald, seems a bit wasted because the character is underwritten. He is an excellent actor, but anyone could have easily done this role.
I did enjoy some of the old school type action sequences that were directed by James Mangold (’3:10 to Yuma’). The bull run was a cool sequence, and the car chase scenes with Cruise on the hood of the car were exciting. The visuals from all of the different places the film takes us were nicely shot. Director Mangold is gifted at making some of the action better than what it could have been, and I give him credit for that. ‘Knight and Day’ plays like a 1990′s retro action comedy, and even though I personally don’t mind that, today’s audiences are probably going to leave the theater wanting something more.
I wasn’t disappointed with ‘Knight and Day’, but I did want the film to surprise me a little more than it did. I had a feeling this could be a possible sleeper summer hit, but after watching it…probably not. The film has a decent bit of comedy (could have used a better script), some great action sequences (that were too short), just ok chemistry between the two leads (Cruise in on, but Diaz has been better), and characters that are interesting on paper (but somehow feel like they get lost in the shuffle).
I found myself actually wanting Roy Miller to be the bad guy. The film makes you believe that he has indeed lost his mind, but it cops out toward the end by making him out to be the good guy. The reversal would have made the film more interesting, and it would have been a nice twist. Miller (Cruise) is very likable throughout the picture, and you can almost feel the ‘hero’ thing coming.
If you are looking for an enjoyable, rather entertaining film to see this weekend, then I do recommend giving ‘Knight and Day’ a chance. You might like it a little more than I did. Make no mistake, Tom Cruise is still a ‘movie star’. He has on screen presence, and I am looking forward to ‘Mission: Impossible 4′ (if it gets made) and the Les Grossman film. Cameron Diaz needs to do a drama next, because I think it’s time for her to do something completely different from this.
All in all…’Knight and Day’ is a mediocre film that could have been much better.