Review: Knight and Day

A movie that delivers on its comedy while the action was so green-screened, it felt contrived and fake. It was like watching a film about a summer blockbuster (not a good thing for 10 bucks).

James Mangold has directing some fantastic, engaging character studies…whether through quiet moments or intense action. Some of those winners included 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line and Girl, Interrupted. You shouldn’t add Knight and Day to that list.

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THE SETUP:
Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) is a spy on the run, framed for a crime he didn’t commit ( I wonder how many times I’ll write this?). While avoiding secret agents and crime lords, he pulls a ditzy mechanic (Cameron Diaz) into the action to help him clear his name. It should be mentioned that Roy is a little mentally unbalanced which is where most of the comedy comes from.

THE THOUGHTS:
If you’ve seen the trailer for this, you know there was some potential in a comedy spy movie with an action star known for normally taking intense movie roles. Yeah, I was misled too.

It is fun to see Tom Cruise act like we all think he’s like in real life (ala Oprah’s couch) and he plays it up well. On top of that, we all know he can handle action scenes and this is no exception. Whether he’s running along rooftops or taking out an entire airplane of hit men, he kicks ass convincingly. Cameron Diaz plays the usual “Cameron Diaz in a comedy” role. Ditzy, overwhelmed, sexy-cute. Basically Katherine Heigl…only likeable.

Where this movie really misses the mark is the action scenes which is what this movie is sold on. You know those old movies where the actor is sitting in a car but he’s really not driving, it’s just the scenery or screen behind them moving? This entire movie was like that. I’m sure there were stunts but all the exciting sets were so obviously computer generated it was distracting. Those aren’t bulls. They didn’t drive between those two trains, etc. etc.

The other sticking point was the painful setups. For example, I’m going to say this so you can reverse it and say it back to me later. I’m going to show you this move so you can use it in a fight 5 minutes later. I like my movies a little more intelligent…or at least ones that think I am.

KNIGHT AND DAY Rating:
 2 stars – it’s a renter. This is a solid renter due to the chemistry between Cruise and Diaz (can you name the other movie they did together?) Where I think you’ll run into some trouble is with Blu-Ray. There is so much CGI and green screen that a lot of the movie will come of as fake. Oh wait, you don’t need Blue-Ray for that.

Random Recommendations
3:10 to Yuma (2007) – There’s not a lot of “meh” westerns. You either get it or you don’t. This one gets it. Russell Crowe, Ben Foster and Christian Bale in a story about escorting a criminal to the train to get him to trial/prison. Funny in moments, intense in the rest…a movie you should really check out.

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Pleasantville (1998) – This movie sort of snuck on me. I had no expectations. I mean it is about a couple of teenagers (Toby MacGuire & Reese Witherspoon) who get sucked into a 1950’s black and white sitcom where teens go to malt shops, women only cook and clean, and men…well I’m not really sure what the men do. Regardless it is a beautiful, sweet…and fantastic movie.

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 Review: Knight and Day
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