Pros: Great action, great romance, pretty good blend between the two. Diaz and Cruise.
Cons: I would have liked slightly less frantic action, a little more romance.
Knight and Day (2010) Directed by James Mangold
Roy Miller: Some people are gonna come looking for you now.
June Havens: Why?
Roy Miller: They'll tell you I'm mentally unstable and violent and dangerous and it will all sound very convincing.
June Havens: I'm already convinced.
What we have here is a rare crossbreed; a worthwhile mating of a romantic comedy and an action movie. It is a common effort, but it is like mules; you cross a horse with a donkey, you get a mule. It is very rare that you get one that isn't sterile.
Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) is a secret agent who has gone rogue. There is a McGuffin, an object that everyone wants. Roy has it. Various bad guys want it. In order to get it through airport security, Roy bumps into June Haven (Cameron Diaz) who has a suit case full of auto parts. The object is likely to be over looked amongst carburetors and exhaust pipes. Then he bumps into her again, and takes it back, stealing her boarding pass in the process; insuring she won't make the flight, which is probably safer for her anyway.
But the Agent in charge of chasing Miller, Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard) puts her back on track. This is bad news for Miller, and for June. A little flirtation, a little conversation, and June is of the opinion she might be joining the mile high club. And this might be a good thing... (It's Tom Cruise, after all). But the club she joins is the most wanted list. After killing all agents aboard, and the flight crew, Miller finds himself having to land the plane. Miller tries to warn June about what will happen next; if she is approached by agents, don't get in a vehicle with them. Repetitious use of words like secure, safe, and safety means they intend to kill you. And deny knowing Miller.
Of course, he is right, and of course she is picked up. What does stand out as different is he, Miller, comes after her. Of course, he has to; he is the lead in a romantic comedy. Then it is a worldwide chase as Miller tries to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, keeping the McGuffin, and its creator, safe.
One of the best things about this movie is Cameron Diaz. She delivers wonderful dithering panic. She also has one of the brightest grins in Hollywood. Further, she is exiting that "Fresh Hot Chick" stage, and is maturing into a remarkably handsome woman. Not all actresses make the transition. I am pleased to see she will be one.
Another great thing about it is Tom Cruise. No one doubts the man's ability to act. What I was amazed at is his ability to balance acting like the suave spy, and more than just a little bit crazy. Is it acting, or type casting? Either way, it creates chemistry with Cameron that leaps off the screen.
Several other things almost leap off the screen as well; motorcycles, SUVs, and bulls spring immediately to mind. In fact, between international arms dealers and the FBI/CIA/NSA teams there is enough fire power to invade your average banana republic. And I think that might actually be a flaw in the movie. I think I would have enjoyed a little less Steven Segal, and liked a little more Cary Grant.
Still, this movie has enough explosions, knock out drugs, car chases, running of the bulls, and Cameron Diaz in a bikini to please any man. And for the ladies, it has lots of romance, intrigue, tropical islands, murder on the Orient Express, Tom Cruise half naked, and a heroine who can rescue herself. So it has something for everyone. And that makes it a perfect date movie.
I might have liked it a little better with more romance, less explosions, but there is a magic here that will see this as one of the better movies of the summer. Go see.
This review, like Matt Knight, is Lean-N-Mean at 666 words. It is also entered into Captain D's Good Movie Write Off.