Knight and Day
dir James Mangold
scr Patrick O'Neill
prd Todd Garner, Cathy Konrad, Steve Pink, Joe Roth
with Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Jordi Molla, Marc Blucas, Maggie Grace, Celia Weston, Falk Hentschel, Lennie Loftin, Dale Dye
release US 23.Jun.10, UK 6.Aug.10
10/US FOX 1h49
Knight and Day
Hold on tight: Diaz and Cruise

sarsgaard davis dano
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Knight and Day This is a breezy, brainless action rom-coms like they used to make in the 1980s starring Mel Gibson as a crazy spy and Goldie Hawn and the ditsy but feisty woman he meets along the way. Yes, it's terrible, but it's also undemanding fun.

After June (Diaz) bumps into Roy (Cruise) in the airport, she finds herself in a mid-air shootout and a cornfield crash-landing. But she wakes up at home as if everything is fine. And so continues her adventure, as Roy turns out to be a possibly rogue federal agent trying to stay one step ahead of the spies chasing him (Davis and Sarsgaard) and keep June safe from the bad guys as they dart to the Azores and across Europe, where they meet a technology nerd (Dano) and a smirking arms dealer (Molla).

Screenwriter O'Neill and director Mangold clearly can't be bothered with story coherence, as they never bother to explain how we get from each action set piece to the next. Actually, this is one of the better running gags in this lazily thrown together movie. They seem to think that merely having Cruise and Diaz in the central roles is enough to hold our interest. Which in a way it is.

Diaz does ditsy-feisty well and Cruise is watchable in self-deprecating action-slapstick mode. But several rather important questions still nag at us. Why does highly trained, cold-hearted Roy continually risk everything to save June? Why doesn't the razor-sharp Davis notice that the puffy-looking Sarsgaard is a bit shifty? How do Roy and June manage to kind of fall for each other when their whole relationship is merely a few sassy one-liners?

But we don't buy tickets to movies like this to see sensible storylines and deep characters; we want overwrought, effects-heavy action and sexless banter between big movie stars. We can overlook the fact that people die at an alarming rate all through the movie because we know our heroes won't even muss their expensive haircuts (Roy's early bullet wound miraculously heals in time for his shirtless scene, to say nothing of June's magical bridesmaid dress). Sometimes we just want some dumb escapism. Well, here it is.

cert 12 themes, violence, language 16.Jul.10

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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall