Review: Knight and Day

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Glancing at the trailer, you may be inclined to believe that Knight and Day is some sort of action rom-com, similar in style to Mr. and Mrs. Smith or more recently, Killers. You wouldn’t be wrong necessarily – it features plenty of action, a fair share of romance, at least attempts some comedy.

But Knight and Day is not the movie it advertises itself to be. Underneath all it’s shiny Hollywood layers, Knight and Day is a fairytale fantasy. Â

Read on, I’ll explain. Promise. Â

Glancing at the trailer, you may be inclined to believe that Knight and Day is some sort of action rom-com, similar in style to Mr. and Mrs. Smith or more recently, Killers. You wouldn't be wrong necessarily – it features plenty of action, a fair share of romance, at least attempts some comedy.

But Knight and Day is not the movie it advertises itself to be. Underneath all it's shiny Hollywood layers, Knight and Day is a fairytale fantasy.  

Read on, I'll explain. Promise.  

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When the movie opens, we're introduced to Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) as he seems to be people watching at an airport while waiting for a flight. While perusing a gift shop, he spots June (Cameron Diaz) and immediately orchestrates a "chance" encounter by bumping into her as she reaches the top of an escalator. After passing through security, they bump into each other again and, after some failed attempts at building chemistry, they realize that they're on the same flight. Delightful.

The two not-so-star-crossed lovers board the plane and wouldn't you know it? They're sitting right next to each other! Roy spits game while June stares at him with the sort of infatuation Katie Holmes must've had before Mr. Cruise crushed her spirit with his crazy space religion. June retreats to the lavatory where she attempts to convince herself that sleeping with this total stranger is a terrific idea. When she emerges, everyone on the plane save for Roy is dead or otherwise incapacitated and Jason Bourne Roy explains to June that he's actually a super spy running from the government that betrayed him and wants him dead, and now she has to stick with him because they're going to want her dead too.

So why is Knight and Day the fairytale that I proclaimed it to be?   

Have you ever perused the books section of your local grocery store? There's usually a small selection of bestsellers, children's books, and novels that have recently been adapted to the big screen, complete with movie tie-in cover art. And then there's the trashy romance novels, each and every one of them depicting a shirtless and muscular gentleman embracing some beautiful young lass, almost always under moonlight on a beach or seaside cliff. Wherever they are, there seems to be water and a dangerous amount of wind, and you may think to yourself that these two lovers should find a safer place to longingly gaze into each other's eyes.

You know, the reason Fabio is famous.

Imagine if you will that this June character is reading one of these novels while in a cab on the way to the airport. She's lonely and coming off a bad break-up, her sister is set to be married. Perhaps she's haunted by the deafening tick-tock of her biological clock. All she has is her work, so she turns to these trashy tales for escape. All it would take is a fateful fantasy push – a portal, a genie, some sort of magical artifact – for June to be transported into the very book she is reading, whisked away on a whirlwind globetrotting adventure with Tom Cruise.   

Like a rom-com reimagining of Last Action Hero.  

That's not what Knight and Day is supposed to be, but that's how I found myself watching it. In a scene early in the film, June meets up with her firefighter ex-boyfriend Rodney (Marc Blucas) at a diner and attempts to tell him the story of Roy and his killing spree on the airplane. Rodney doesn't believe her of course, rather he assumes June imagined the whole ordeal and expresses concern over her stress level. It's not too long before Roy tracks her down and they head back to action-movie Narnia. 

Knight and Day suffocates with Cameron Diaz in the lead. She is easily the least interesting character in the movie, yet she garners the majority of the screen time. The character of June is erratic and boring, especially when contrasted with Tom Cruise's incredibly entertaining turn as Roy Miller. The lack of chemistry between Diaz and Cruise is astounding, and June's opinion of Roy changes so frequently that you'll wonder why he keeps wasting his time tracking her ungrateful ass down.

The story limps along as Roy and June bounce between New York City, a tropical island, the Alps, Germany and Spain, getting into and out of trouble while June continuously loses and regains her trust in Roy.  The relationship between June and Roy was so flat that I became far more interested in the movie's MacGuffin, a top secret device no bigger than a Double-A battery dubbed "Zephyr" that is capable of creating perpetual energy.  In addition to protecting June, Roy has also sworn to protect the creator of the Zephyr, a young genius by the name of Simon (Paul Dano). Both Simon and the battery are of special interest to the film's villain, FBI Agent Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard). In fact, take Cameron Diaz out of the movie entirely and make it just about Roy, Simon and the Zephyr, and Knight and Day becomes a much more entertaining product. 

Overall Score: 5.20 – Bad. (5s are movies that either failed at reaching the goals it set out to do, or didn’t set out to do anything special and still had many flaws. Some will enjoy 5s, but unless you’re a fan of this genre, you shouldn’t see it, and might not even want to rent it.)

Knight and Day's numerous action sequences are entertaining enough, and fans of Tom Cruise will likely find the film worth watching at least once, but be warned that it comes with a heaping helping of Cameron Diaz — and if you're like me, that could be a deal breaker.