Knight and Day is a movie that requires you to drop all negative preconceived notions. Notions about Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, action comedies, romantic comedies, etc. I say this because, if you don't drop them, you'll never go see the film. Not to say that it's fantastic or not-to-be-missed, but you can do a hell of a lot worse.
In Knight and Day, June Havens (Cameron Diaz) has a seemingly innocent run-in with Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) in an airport. And then again in the same airport. They're taking the same flight, so naturally they see each other again on the plane, where they proceed to talk and really hit it off. June excuses herself and goes to the bathroom, where she proceeds to give herself a pep talk in the mirror.
Meanwhile, Roy, whose real last name is Knight, is attacked by everyone on the plane. The passengers, the flight attendants, even the pilot. He dispatches them with ease and props them all back up in their seats, so that when June emerges from the bathroom all seems well. Until Roy informs her that the pilot is dead and the plane is going down.
This is the scene that more or less kicks off Knight and Day. On paper, it doesn't sound too impressive. But in practice, it's an absolute blast to watch. The choreography is impressive, the kills are creative, and the juxtaposition between Knight fighting for his life and June talking herself into making a move inspires a few chuckles.
Knight and Day follows a strict romantic action-comedy formula to a fault. Throughout the course of the film, they get along, they fight, trust is lost, trust is regained, and romance blossoms. But the film makes no excuses. It does nothing new because it doesn't try to do anything new. It's very comfortable walking in the footsteps of dozens, if not hundreds, of films before it. Instead of bringing anything new to the table, it brings fun and laughs, a good amount of both.
This film being what it is, immense pressure is placed on its two leads. Unfortunately it's hit and miss, with the hit being Tom Cruise and the miss being Cameron Diaz. While Diaz isn't the greatest actress, she's proven effective in the past. Here she's merely competent, breezing through her lines with the minimum amount of effort required. She seems to alternate between having fun with the role and taking it too seriously, when the former is absolutely required.
Luckily, Tom Cruise at the top of his game and then some. This man is one of the most versatile actors in the business and it's great to see him just let loose. Knight is good at his job, but you wouldn't think so with the way he acts, which is like someone mentally unstable and not fit to be firing guns. But, like the movie itself, his bullets mostly hit their mark.
Knight and Day is not a great movie, but it is a good one. While it makes good use of its generic plot, it's still a generic plot, and all the laughs in the world couldn't mask that. Add in the bland performance by Diaz and some boring stretches, and you've got a few glaring flaws. Still, all the laughs and Cruise's undeniable charm make the film worth a look.
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