My daughters Netflixed KNIGHT AND DAY, and although like a lot of people I've developed an aversion to Tom Cruise in recent years, I decided to try it after checking out Leonard Maltin's thumbs up review. I'm really glad I watched it, as Leonard was right -- the movie is a lot of fun.
The film might be described as awesomely, giddily stupid, deliberately lampooning spy thrillers in general and some of Cruise's past film personas in particular. It's something of a live-action cross between a comic book and a video game, with completely impossible action wittily played by the two leads, Cruise and Cameron Diaz. We all had a very good time watching it.
The film is a modern version of the "couple on the run" story which dates back at least as far as Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS (1935) and SABOTEUR (1942). As in those films, the heroine is forced to accompany a mysterious man on the run, who could be either criminal or hero. The film's nearly bloodless comic book violence also calls to mind funny action films ranging from Roger Moore's THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) to the highly entertaining MR. AND MRS. SMITH (2005) of half a decade ago.
Diaz is endearingly sweet as the baffled but surprisingly resourceful June, and it must be said that Cruise does a terrific job doing a rather brave send-up of himself. When he looks at Diaz over his shades, it's quite delightful.
If you're looking for a film with any basis in reality, this is not your movie. But if you want some laughs and a fun time, check out KNIGHT AND DAY. As Leonard Maltin says, it's "quite good...pure escapism."
Parental advisory: This film is rated PG-13 for an endless supply of falling bodies and some language; there is one particularly notable swear word, but other than that the language issue is not pervasive.
The movie was directed by James Mangold (WALK THE LINE). It costars Viola Davis and Peter Sarsgaard. This film runs 109 minutes.
KNIGHT AND DAY is available on DVD.
As the Amazon copy reads, "Knight and Day has action by the boatload, cheeky wit, unexpected double-crossing, sexual tension, and the blinding smile of its star, Tom Cruise. In short, what more could you ask of a rollicking good-time movie?"