I really had no idea what I was in for when I went to see Knight and Day, besides the fact that it was a ‘spy movie’ (which could range from James Bond: Mission Impossible to Top Secret!) starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The wordplay on the title struck me as a little corny, and in fact, gave a pretty good prelude to what turned out to be a rather corny, albeit charming, film. I might not necessarily go see it again, but I would recommend it to a friend.
The storyline begins with two strangers at an airport – the clumsy June Havens (Diaz) who is desperately trying to get to her sister’s wedding, and the suave Roy Miller (Cruise) who bumps into June numerous times. After lots of confusion, they end up on the same plane and hit it off chatting with each other (there is a really cheesy makes-you-cringe-line about standing on a balcony in France or some such nonsense… the movie was worth it just for that). June is thinking she’s met the man of her dreams – until she comes back from the bathroom, and finds everyone on the plane dead.
Simply because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, June is now caught up in Roy’s turbulent game of hide-and-go-seek. While the cops keep telling her that Roy has “gone rogue,” Roy convinces her otherwise by explaining that he’s only trying to protect a young man named Simon Feck, whose remarkable invention has caught the attention of international forces. The movie takes us from Wichita to the Alps, to uncharted islands, and then right to Roy’s own backyard. But no matter how much running they do, the three unlikely heroes will need to face the law eventually – a difficult task when they still haven’t figured out if they can trust each other.
If I had merely read the script, I probably wouldn’t have made it past the halfway point. The lines were very, very tacky (“June Havens, you have skills!”) and it was chock-full of spy movie tropes (everything from an “off the grid” location to bursting out of an exploding building with a motorcycle). However, Knight and Day had a number of saving graces.
The fact that it took place in so many different countries was a little ridiculous, but as a viewer, it was awesome to see the moonlit Salzburg streets, or the masses thronging to Spain’s annual Running of the Bulls. All the settings were superb. From spooky abandoned warehouses to sumptuous luxury trains, nothing was spared in the sets.
Moreover, this film was exceptionally well-cast. I thought the acting was the best part of the whole movie. I always wonder what it must be like for an actor to be handed a mediocre script, but both Diaz and Cruise rose to meet the challenge. Diaz portrayed June Haven as overwhelmed and scared, as anyone would be in her situation, but with a good head on her shoulders. She was definitely a relatable character. Cruise’s Roy Miller seemed a bit too debonair and in-control to be realistic, although his almost brotherly concern for June was very endearing. Even the actors with secondary roles – paranoid, boy-genius Simon; Roy’s clumsy parents; the intimidating director of the CIA – enhanced the movie with their acting. I was very impressed.
If you’re looking for a light film, something that will make you chuckle and dazzle you with some breathtaking settings, Knight and Day is the movie for you. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a serious plot… or even a realistic one… you may have to look elsewhere.