Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Knight and Day”

(20th Century Fox. 1 hour, 50 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence throughout, and brief strong language. Directed by James Mangold.) Tom Cruise (Roy Miller), Cameron Diaz (June Havens), Peter Sarsgaard (Fitzgerald), Jordi Mollà (Antonio), Viola Davis (Director George), Paul Dano (Simon Feck). Music by John Powell.

Genial popcorn movie that’s as disposable as the box your Jujubes came in: you enjoy it while it’s happening, but five minutes later you’ll forget all about it. Faithful Cruise fans and those who have left the fold will be glad to see that Tom carries the picture in the movie-star manner of his Top Gun / A Few Good Men heyday of 20 years ago. 48 years old on July 3, the guy still has it, folks, and he looks great.

Knight and Day gives us Cruise and Diaz in a spy caper trying hard to evoke elements of Hitchcock, James Bond, Cruise’s own Mission: Impossible series, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It’s complete with a Hitchcock-like MacGuffin (the “thing” everyone is after): the Zephyr, created by wacko inventor Simon Feck (Dano), a tiny battery which is “the first perpetual energy source since the Sun.” Cruise (and a bunch of others) are after the Zephyr of course, and Diaz is the hapless heroine dragged along unwillingly on the chase. While we’re trying to figure out whether Cruise is a good guy or a bad guy, his interactions with Diaz manage to enliven the proceedings between action setpieces. Part of the credit goes to good-with-actors director Mangold, who normally handles character studies such as 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line. He pulls off the near-impossible: making ditzy Diaz tolerable. Hey, don’t Bogart those Junior Mints.

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