'Knight and Day' is an action-comedy that released in 2010 to mixed critical acclaim. The total for the first weekend box office take in the U.S. for the movie was allegedly the worst result for an action film starring Tom Cruise in 20 years. However, the movie in the end has turned out to be a moderate success.
The movie tells the story of June Havens (Cameron Diaz) who somehow gets involved with a rogue secret agent, Roy Miller (Tom Cruise). Both of them are then hunted by the FBI who want their hands on Miller and also something important.
I watched the movie with low expectations and was in for a pleasant surprise. It was like going back to the 1990's and witnessing a good old popcorn action flick with a hint of light-hearted comedy. The feel of the movie just felt right, although the plot was wafer-thin. In a nutshell, it was entertaining.
The positive things about the movie were the exciting and stylish action set-peices, fast pace of the movie, energetic performances from Cruise and Diaz who shared a natural chemistry and an eye pleasing cinematography. I should also mention that the comic moments were quite funny.
The downside is the really stupid story but that is thankfully over-compensated by the above things. Otherwise, this would've been the disaster of the summer. Another flaw is the bland villains who do nothing for the movie.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is the ending, which is the CORNIEST movie climax I've seen in ages. It must be a good thing since it made me laugh.
Cruise pitches in a committed and cool performance combined with some cracking one-liners. His presence itself makes the feature more than watchable. Cruise proves that he is still a star. Diaz compliments Cruise step-by-step and holds her own against him. She is a treat to watch. The romance angle between the actors is done well. The great chemistry between Cruise and Diaz combined with their amusing dialogue exchanges actually saves the movie from mediocracy. The only realistic point is that the age of both actors is starting to show.
The direction provided by James Mangold mainly works on the style and not the substance. He could've worked on character development and made sense of a number of mindless scenes. Overall, his direction was acceptable as he caused Cruise and Diaz to flourish and executed the action scenes in a slick manner.
The cinematography by Phedon Papamichael especially in the exotic locales is worthy of a mention.
The background music score by John Powell is lively and adds excitement to the action.
Right, the movie had a lot of development problems where the makers were unsure who to cast as the lead actors, which isn't a good start. A different director and multiple writers had worked on the script prior to everything being finalised, which is evident when viewing the feature. Also, there were funding problems, which the makers resolved to an extent by paying Cruise a lower advance fee. They also neglected to provide him with a share of the revenue until the financiers earned back their initial investment in the production. All in all, a shaky project where it's clear on watching the final product that the end result could've been a BLOCKBUSTER.
When speaking about promotional aspects of the movie, the trailer is guilty of killing of any audience interest. The trailers were just lame. I also found that the title of the film didn't grab my attention. In my opinion, these two things could've been changed to the advantage of the feature.
'Knight and Day' for me was an unwinding CHEESEFEST and an ideal summer actioner. It's most enjoyable if you take it for what it is.