Knight And Day

Director    James Mangold
Starring    Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano
Release    23 JUN (US) 6 AUG (UK)    Certificate 12A
3 stars


7th August 2010

You can't help but worry about generic summer action films like Knight And Day; not because goofball Tom Cruise is the lead, but because nearly every funny or action-packed moment from the trailer passes within the first 25 minutes of the film. But don't worry - there must be something to carry the plot for the next hour and a half, right? Er, right?

Luckily, the silly and occasionally downright absurd moments between Cruise and Diaz are enough to keep you entertained through the shell of what passes for a plot. Honestly, I'll wager you're not going in to see an enthralling storyline that will tug at your heartstrings - you're going to see a comedic action movie with more explosions than you can shake a Scientologist at.

[gallery]In this instalment of the Cruise Action Genre, typical girl-next-door June Havens (Cameron Diaz) has her life of fixing up classic cars flipped upside down when she becomes entangled with the affairs of a secret agent Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), who has supposedly gone rogue. As they dodge mercenary groups and the CIA in ridiculously over-the-top chase scenes, they learn that their chances of survival are much greater when they stick together. This global chase culminates to the point of their separation with June in the clear and Roy still on the run. It's all fine and dandy until June chooses to re-involve herself for (you guessed it) love.

Knight And Day's Achilles heel is poor writing. Several scenarios just don't really make that much sense - it seems like the antagonists go through some pretty unnecessarily extravagant ways to dispose of Roy, when a good bullet in the temple would be just the ticket.

What saves it are the performances by perma-tanned best pals Cruise and Diaz, a sickeningly good screen couple. Their characters complement each other nicely in the context of the story and you can certainly tell that they enjoyed making this film. When it's easy to tell the actors are having a good time, it makes it a lot easier to enjoy yourself.

But damn, there are some dumb scenes to tolerate. One scene in particular, which you've no doubt seen in the endless trailers and clips, has Roy accidentally startling June from behind while holding a sub-machine gun, which causes her to wildly flail her arms unloading bullets into everything around her. Furthermore, in a scene where they are fighting an assassin on a train, the guy has a knife impaled nearly three inches into his chest and solves this by simply pulling it out and continuing to fight. Problem solved!

Despite its faults, the bottom line is that Knight And Day only ever aspires to be a fun, disposable, action blockbuster: it could hardly fail. Although you can feel its length at times and the writing is not up to par with some other productions this year, it's generally exactly as enjoyable as you'd expect - a pretty, forgettable popcorn movie that shouldn't ruin a decent date.

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