Ok, so the last time actors named Cruise and Diaz were combined, the final product was a seriously confusing and jumbled story titled Vanilla Sky. The best thing about that tangled web of plotlines was the inclusion of one of Cruise’s ex’s with a similar sounding last name, Penelope. Nine years later, Tom and Cameron have returned but with a different director, James Mangold; different writer, Patrick O’ Neill; and a different genre, action, with some subtle comedy blended in, to bring us Knight and Day.
Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) is a CIA agent who has possibly or possibly not gone rogue due to his knowledge of the whereabouts of a special power source that is wanted by, well, everyone. He “accidentally” bumps into vintage automobile restorer, June Havens (Cameron Diaz), at the airport in order to get the package through security for him, without her knowledge of course. They find themselves on the same flight destined for Boston and get to know each other. During a bathroom trip, June realizes she is smitten with her new airplane buddy and decides to make a go at him while oblivious to the ruckus occurring outside the restroom. A ruckus that includes everyone and everyone, even the pilots, attacking Roy because yes, you guessed it, they are all after that little package I told you about earlier.
When June returns from her visit to the ladies’ room, she doesn’t realize the abundance of dead passengers around her. That is, until Roy has to make an unexpected emergency landing due to the pilots being deceased and all. She, like the rest of us, is wondering what in the hell is going on even after their crash landing. Roy doesn’t help much either, only instructing her to not believe what anyone says about him and to not get into any vehicles. Oh, and to avoid people trying to reassure her with words like “secure” and “safe” because that probably means she’s about to be killed. The rest of the film continues the chase for Miller and the acquisition of his precious cargo.
With all of the action and stunt sequences in this film, it was pretty reminiscent of seeing Tom Cruise in his Mission: Impossible films. It even had him showing off his patented “Cruise speed” in some sprints where he is obviously doing his own stunts in those scenes. That’s one actor that is not afraid to run really fast for our entertainment. Though most of the action parts were shown in the trailer, they were pretty entertaining but not really anything outrageous. The first car chase about half an hour into the film contains some hard to believe death/physics defying stunts but it was good to see Cruise get back to something he does very well. Make movie magic look very real, with assistance from the special effects crew of course. Even Diaz got to be included in many of the action sequences. Although it was difficult to grasp the idea of your average person being able to lure bad guys out and shoot at them at the level that she does with absolutely no formal government training at all.
Other treats were the return of Jordi Molla as Antonio, a weapons dealer, especially after making such a great bad guy in Bad Boys II. Cruise’s character has a level of craziness about him that keeps the audience wondering that he might actually be a little insane. But that part of his personality supplies a large amount of the comedy for this film. Diaz’s character is skeptical (who wouldn’t be after having a complete stranger crash land your airplane) and very curious but not as naive or ditsy as some of her past roles. The way her character takes the reins after getting a hold of what’s the truth and settling into the action and stunts and chases and killing is way more realistic than any of what the three Charlie’s Angels did.
I wouldn’t really classify this movie as an action comedy as it has been advertised but the degree of action and comedy that is has meshes well together. The story is presented to the audience in mysterious little chunks until Cruise’s character explains who he is and what exactly he is doing which develops the rest of the plot just right. With some thrown in expected romance and Diaz in a bikini that she has no idea how she got into and the rest just kinds of falls into place. Although I was expecting a little more action, it might be worth a trip to the theater but definitely a DVD look-sey when it’s released in about 3-4 months. Plus, its commercials alone look better than the other film about a woman who discovers her man is a spy. Hint: Killers. I give Knight and Day “3.5 shots of Cameron Diaz in a red bikini out of 5”.
“I shot the first pilot then he accidentally shot the second pilot. It’s just one of those things.”
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