KNIGHT AND DAY (2010)


Greetings again from the darkness. I really liked director James Mangold‘s two most recent films – Walk the Line, and 3:10 to Yuma. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz both have great smiles and look really good in swim attire. Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine) is well cast as an off-center nerdy scientist. That’s the end of all the positive comments I have for this film.

The negative comments are for just about everything else in this summer “blockbuster”. It is billed as an Action-Comedy. There is plenty of action, though much of it is so far-fetched and ludicrous. There is almost no comedy. The rapid fire banter between Cruise and Diaz would have been much more effective had it been well written, instead of just fast paced.  Even the music is distracting.  Hall & Oates and Christopher Cross are painful enough, but they really should have let the composer watch the film before creating the score.

A quality action movie needs a real force coming from the bad guy. Here, the filmmakers instead provide us with a “is he a good guy or a bad guy” story line with Cruise. Anyone surprised at the real answer? Because of that, we don’t have anyone to root against. Some generic Spainish arms dealer played by Jordi Molla (Blow) and the government agent played generically by Peter Saarsgard. Generic is not a word you want associated with your movie.

This is Cruise and Diaz together for the first time since the far-superior Vanilla Sky. They both deserve better than this slop, though I feel confident they had a good time with the globe-trotting to Spain, Austria, Jamaica and a few U.S. stops in between. The fun they had filming did not translate into fun for me as a viewer. In fact, as they were driving away, I kept hoping for an ending like Thelma and Louise.

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