Knight and Day

Knight and Day

Starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Peter Sarsgaard
Directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma)
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence throughout, and brief strong language
Appropriate for ages 13+

    June Havens (Diaz) finds her normal life turned upside down when she gets mixed up with super spy Roy Miller (Cruise) on a seemingly innocent flight.  As soon as she crosses the line with him, there is no turning back, as she finds herself the target of not only the U.S. government, but terrorist arms dealers as well.  Roy, on the other hand, has a mission that he must complete, but feels the need to keep Havens alive, even though it could get in the way of his ultimate goal. 

    There have been a plethora of these types of spy movies of late, and while none can match up to True Lies in style or substance, this one manages to be a really good summer popcorn flick.  The action here is intense, but done with a great sense of humor.  Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Cruise is fun to watch in a movie like this.  Because he does most of his own stunt work, he manages to bring the action to life in a way that few actors can manage.  And the creativity with which the action sequences were dreamed up is most definitely worthy of praise.  There are only so many ways to do a car or motorcycle chase, but this felt original without going too over-the-top.

    The story, revolving around a small battery that could power a city, was not great and the twists felt a little forced, but because of the chemistry between Cruise and Diaz (and I’m going to put the blame mostly on Cruise’s great performance), you care more about their relationship than the story.  I kind of think that no matter what they did, I would have had fun watching them doing it. 

    I was surprised at either the poor makeup or continuity (or both) in regards to Diaz.  At many stages of the film Diaz looks normal.  Shocking, I know.  Of course it would have been fine if she just felt like going natural.  The problem is that there would be a close-up shot where she looks like a super model and then a three quarter shot where she suddenly ages ten years.  This was most noticeable during the beach sequence.  I would have typically not pointed this out, as it seems petty, but I have had three other critics tell me they saw the same thing, but were afraid to mention it as well.

    Bad makeup aside, you can’t discount a film for such a minor infraction and it hardly gets in the way of what is ultimately good escapist entertainment that most audiences will enjoy.  B+