Knight and Day – Movie Review

I can see the pitch meeting now: “What if we took Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible and combined him with Jerry Maguire? And we can cast Tom Cruise in the role!” Though it sounds like a winning idea to take two of Cruise’s more popular roles and try to make a box-office-stomping hybrid, but Roy Miller the Rogue Spy doesn’t quite live up. When June Havens (played broadly by a shrill, confused Cameron Diaz) accidentally stumbles onto the wrong flight, she is caught up with Roy and the cat-and-mouse game that he’s in. Her life is put in danger as they hesitantly join forces to protect a young genius and his invention from all the wicked men and women who are after them. Along the way, those life-threatening situations apparently really get a girl thinking (“Y’know, he’s really a sweet guy when he’s not breaking a guy’s neck.”), and romantic sparks start to fly (it doesn’t hurt that they both look hot hiding out on a tropical island in skimpy beachwear).

Part of the challenge of this movie, though, is balancing between the cuteness of a romantic comedy and the adventure of a spy story (TV series Chuck has been dancing on the edge of that knife for four seasons). Part of the problem is that not only does the movie have a hard time deciding what kind of movie it is, but unfortunately, the actors and the director do too. Cruise comes across as a perfectly-trained operative, but when he drops the seriousness and starts to show some sensitivity and hesitation, he actually comes across a bit crazy. It’s almost like he’s remembering some cover identity where he was a normal guy. Similarly, Diaz is OK dealing with the romantic issues (in typical rom-com fashion she seems to draw a lot of conclusions from “moments” and overheard encounters), but when she turns around and tries to start strategizing and kicking butt, it feels like she’s having mood swings or something. In the final tally, given what’s at stake, it’s ridiculous that they’re concerned about silly things like fixing up June’s dad’s old car, or getting June to her sister’s wedding — I’m sure she’ll understand your missing the ceremony if you’ve been on the run for your life and trying to stop wicked bad guys.

To top it all off, there are so many unbelievable elements in the plot. Both Roy and June zip around the world easier than going for a cup of coffee. There’s no way that June is as capable of handling herself as she is considering she’s an untrained civilian. On the flip-side, it’s also ridiculous that they have any kind of a relationship based on how little interaction they’ve actually had (most of it being argumentative) and how much danger June’s life has been put into since meeting Roy. Overall, you’re best off trying to suspend all disbelief and just enjoy the action. The spy side is a bit stronger than the romance, so just stick with that. You’ll end up having a better time. (3.5 out of 5)

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