Knight and Day (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 110 minutes
Not for children.
Tom Cruise joins Cameron
Diaz in director James Mangoldís attempt at an action comedy. Mangold
directed 2005ís Walk the Line, which minimized Johnny Cashís
wonderful music, replaced his unique voice, and ignored his prolific
drug use, and 2007ís remake of 3:10 to Yuma. He says he wanted to
pattern this on two Cary Grant caper films, Stanley Donenís, Charade
(1963) and Alfred Hitchockís North by Northwest (1959).
Alas, both Charade
and North by Northwest made sense. There isnít even one scene in
this film that could possibly occur in real life. But this isnít real
life, itís reel life, so itís OK so long as it is as entertaining as
Even trying to tell the
plot would be a spoiler, so Iím not going to attempt it. Suffice it to
say that Diaz boards a plane and Cruise is a passenger. From then on,
her life spins like a roulette wheel, totally out of control. I thought
that the trailer made it look trite. Fortunately, I had to see it and
Iím glad I did. Had it been left to my opinion of the film based on the
trailer, I would have stayed far away.
Somebody told me that
Cruise claimed he did all the stunts himself. Thatís about as believable
as the story about Obama being born in Hawaii. I canít see Tom jumping
from the top of one speeding car onto the top of another speeding car,
or doing many of the other impossible stunts in the movie, and I
certainly canít imagine an insurance company allowing him to do them.
Cruise and Diaz both give
sparkling, star-quality performances and bring the material to life,
despite its total lack of credibility, even though writer Patrick
OíNeil, who originated this as a spec script, has created a McGuffin of
which Hitchcock would be proud.
Mangold keeps the pace
moving and the mystery was confounding enough to hold my interest until
itís revealed halfway through. The special effects, mostly involving
cars, were interesting, even if Tom was probably represented by a
The exceptional talent of
Peter Sarsgaard is wasted in role that requires virtually nothing. Paul
Dano does a good job as Simon Feck, one of the more appropriately
onomatopoeic characterís names Iíve seen in quite a
While who Tom is and why
heís acting this way is presented in a captivating way, it is basically
his devil-may-care attitude, sparkling smile in the face of certain
destruction, and Diazís performance that make this worthwhile.
This is a lot of fun, but
leave your brain at home.
June 23, 2010