Knight and Day (2010)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on June 27, 2010 @

Knight and Day is a hoot.

It's a doozy. It's Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote teamed up. By the end, Wile E. has become wily Wonder Woman.

If you think Road Runner cartoons are silly, you probably won't like Knight and Day. If you think the snap, crackle, and pop of Rice Krispies aren't tasty, you may not like Knight and Day.

But if you like exhilarating, escapist nonsense with personality, Knight and Day is for you.

Set in Massachusetts, Spain, Austria, and other environs, it's Planes, Trains, and Motorcycles on steroids. Knight and Day has an Acme of armament and a billion bodies. But there are only a few drops of blood spilled.

Knight and Day is the trip wire tale of Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) and June Havens (Cameron Diaz) who meet at an airport in Wichita, when Roy "accidentally" bumps into June. Twice. It quickly becomes, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." June is going to her sister's wedding, and he is flying somewhere. They wind up on the same plane, mostly empty -- except for a few scattered passengers.

Those passengers are government agents assigned to kill Roy, whom they think is an agent gone rogue. Ray supposedly is in possession of a valuable, secret product. Hitch's Notorious, anyone?

In a heady sequence, while June is in the plane's restroom preening herself for a possible romantic interlude with Roy, he is committing mayhem in the cabin outside. It's a buoyant juxtaposition that should bring a smile to your face. The entire movie is a chuckle.

Then June also becomes a target, so Roy makes yeoman efforts to protect her. Slowly she evolves into an able sidekick, as the duo battles never-ending assaults.

Tom Cruise is at his starry best as the manic Roy. Knight and Day is Cruise's wild ride. Along for the amusement park antics is a sprightly Cameron Diaz. As spunky June, Diaz adeptly mixes anxiety and engaging spirit.

Fortunately the two stars collide with infectious chemistry.

Peter Sarsgaard is the agent pursuing Roy and June with a battalion of disposable toy soldiers. Also in pursuit are the minions of Spanish arms dealer Antonio (Jordi Molla). Paul Dano is winning as an eccentric, very vulnerable tech wiz.

The screenplay of Knight and Day by Patrick O'Neill is a ludicrous funfest with some charm and an occasional dollop of wit.

Druggings abound. June complains, "You drugged me, Roy," and he responds, "You weren't coping well."

James Mangold keeps the movie bristling with amusing energy, helped by deft editing that cuts scenes short to keep the action in motion.

Mangold, who directed 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and Walk the Line (2005), knows that Knight and Day has none of their realism. He's off on an outrageous feat of fantasy. As such, Knight and Day delivers.

One's reaction to lots of his scenes is, "That's ridiculous." Quickly followed by, "Wow!"

Mangold's use of CGI adds to the animation effect. Knight and Day has a buffed body of action.

And it has the scintillating soul of a cartoon.

© 2000-2022 Tony Macklin