Sunday, January 16, 2011

Knight and Day (2010)


OVERALL SCORE: 5.00/10

Every neighborhood has that one kid. You know the one I'm talking about. He's not the brightest bulb in the bunch, is a bit sycophantic, but everyone puts up with it because he's rather amusing to be around. In the most abstract sense, that's what Knight and Day is.

Like most romantic-comedy action-adventures, Knight and Day relies heavily on the action to save it from the romance, and in turn build some comedy. The movie borrows none too shyly from the likes of True Lies and the action-comedies of the nineties. Unfortunately, it's no where near as good as many of them, and itself, aspired to be.

Director James Mangold orders up a Tom Cruise number 1 special with the infamous "happy mcSmiley face w/ sunglasses" staple performance. Cameron Diaz shows up in a hollow shell of her prior works - the ditsy, but cute business girl with no luck in love. Together they formulate the kind of chemistry that can only be rivaled by a turtle using pick-up lines on a green and brown checkered wall. There's not much there, and to be quite honestly there doesn't need to be.

Perhaps the most saddening aspect of Knight and Day is just how hard it tries to be something more than a shoot 'em up, on the run tale. It's quite apparent that writer Patrick O'Neill wanted to say more about the life of a spy and resigned himself to a cheap little side story with next to no direct impact. Much in the same way one could define the entire movie.

Peter Sarsgaard comes and goes as the 'too obvious for his own good' villain matching wits with Viola Davis (who seems more than happy to play the same character she did in Law Abiding Citizen). We even get a few brief Paul Dano sightings as an uber-cliche, absent minded genius.

In many reviews I've read, they've pointed out the movie should have stuck with the opening concept of Roy being an agent whose simply gone crazy/paranoid. To be honest, I have to agree. The film's efforts at a modern technology based plot come off hokey, even for a film lathered in cheese (a super battery? really?). There's simply not enough in the engine to go the distance. It can be oddly charming at times, even quite a bit humorous, but never to the level it needs to be for sustained interest.

In the end, Knight and Day is an amusing tale that won't bore you, though it may offend your sensibilities. The kind of film you start forgetting the second the credits begin to role. Then again, if that's all you're looking for - no harm done.

6 better thoughts:

Candice Frederick said...

i totally agree. it was trying hard to be something. and cameron diaz's whle shtick is just annoying at this point. she's made a career out of doing this one role. though i thought the movie was fun, i thught tom cruise has been in better action movies.

Yojimbo_5 said...

Actually, Univarn, read my review. I know what Knight and Day was doing, and for that, it was successful and, even, amusing.

Of course, if you have to be told mwhat it's doing...the movie isn't really doing its job...is it?

Nice writing, btw.

The Mad Hatter said...

How did this get to the top of your to-see list. Did you lose a bet??

Ross McG said...

Ive heard its crap but i cant resist a Cruise missile. will get round to it at some stage, even if it is 5 out of 10

Univarn said...

@Candice I think it's fun, but fun in a very forgettable way.

@Yojimbo Will do!

@Mad I saw this a very long time ago and have been sitting on the review ever since. Decided to throw it up on a Sunday where only a couple of people will read what I wrote anyways.

@Ross It's crap you can believe in. If that makes any sense at all.

Andrew Robinson said...

If only it had decided to really be a run of the mill action movie and not knock me out half way through the fun... bah to this movie

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