Review 20: Knight and Day (2/5)

Knight and Day

Directed by James Mangold

Starring Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise,

Released on June 23, 2010

Running time: 1h 49m

Rated PG-13

Genre: Action

Wait…so what’s going on? There’s a rogue spy named Roy (Tom Cruise) carrying some sort of…battery? He, for some reason, picks up the ball-scrapingly annoying June (Cameron Diaz) along the way and tells her that he’s on the run from his own agency. What follows is a series of “character development” scenes followed by seemingly pointless action sequences. Oh, and there’s a couple of dumb twists along the way that I saw coming from a mile away. So, apparently Roy is now the bad guy on the same level of Lestat from Interview with the Vampire, and then he’s not. Apparently the lead agent on the agency Roy went rogue on is apparently a bad guy and a Kevin Spacey wannabe. Apparently there’s some ring of Spanish terrorists that want this battery – oh yeah, the battery is still in this movie! Apparently there’s a soundtrack that belongs to a much better action flick. Something involving a high school student and…Roy’s own little mini spy group? And then the climax is ungodly anticlimactic. Apparently the movie just…ends. And then it doesn’t. And then it just…ends. And then it doesn’t. And then it just…ends. And then it doesn’t. And then it finally, blessedly, ends.

Cameron Diaz is indeed a talented actress. She did her best as Fiona in the Shrek quadrilogy, which I thought was at best slightly funny. She ruined her career and showed that she has very little sex appeal in Sex Tape. She did her best to save The Green Hornet, but could not stand up to Seth Rogen. But she is horrifically annoying. She manages to reach the level between Willie Scott from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Jar Jar Binks from The Phantom Menace. I think that the scene in Knight and Day in which they have Diaz’s character on truth serum should have earned her a Razzie.

Tom Cruise is also a decent actor. He manages to be, at the very least, half decent in most of his movies. I had little idea what was going on in the first three Mission: Impossible movies, but I could count on Tom Cruise in all three, Jon Voight in the first, Dougray Scott and Thandie Newton in the second, and…remind me who was in the third movie? Ah. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman, God rest his soul. Cruise played a very convincing Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. He managed to, alongside child star Dakota Fanning, save War of the Worlds from its lack of character. In Knight and Day, I could have sworn that Cruise was just playing Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible again.

I like to compare Knight and Day to the Bourne quadrilogy, which I dislike. Not just because I’m not a fan of Matt Damon. Not just because Bourne Legacy didn’t even have Jason Bourne in it. Not just because the disappointing action scenes are so few and far between and surprisingly tame for a PG-13 movie. Not just because the characters are incredibly unbelievable. Not just because the main force driving the plot is a halfhearted MacGuffin. Not just because the climaxes are incredibly underwhelming. Not just because the movies sort of just…end. The main flaw is this: it lacks any sort of way to move the halfheartedly written story forward. It lacks the spur of the moment. It lacks the feeling that something’s actually happening. This is the main flaw of Gus van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho. It lacks the driving force behind the plot.

While Knight and Day is quite underwhelming, it’s not all bad. The soundtrack is fantastic until the crappy end credits song. It feels like it belongs in Mission: Impossible.

But it’s just a below average generic action flick.

Final verdict: 2 out of 5 stars.

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