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Knight And Day (2010)

A 2010 action-comedy starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

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Willing suspension of critical faculties

  • Aug 30, 2010
I'll freely admit I enjoyed Knight and Day - in which master criminal-cum-cop-cum-spy Tom Cruise embarks on an intercontinental gallivant, having (literally) stumbled into winsome, dippy and adorable Cameron Diaz - even if I don't really understand why. As I reflected on the film over the weekend it occurred to me that, critically speaking, I'd had my pocket picked. But at least I had been swindled as masterfully and outrageously as any of the many conspiracies in the movie. Before I realised what had happened, the thief had melted into the crowd. I can now barely remember the film. In fact, I'm not even entirely sure I went.

For there are few good reasons to enjoy this film other than the sheer gall the producers have in serving up something so preposterous, incoherent and, at the end of the day, lazy. But I still can't deny: I laughed a lot. I walked out feeling like this would have been a tenner well spent. It seemed like a good deal at the time; a couple of days later, I feel like I've had my wallet lifted.

Knight and Day belts along, and that's the key to its success: it never allows you to pause for a moment. Certainly, never long enough to gather your wits: it is a perpetual, preposterous, onslaught. Now, preposterous in this sort of film is okay; indeed, in the genre, mandatory; but there are limits, and with its unstoppable momentum Knight and Day barrels straight though them without a backward glance.

The set pieces - there are dozens of them, laid end on end - each go over the top in a way that even the Bond franchise would baulk at. They are, of course, leavened by humour and visual gags which excuse the ultra-violence (on an Alpine train, a man with a kitchen knife protruding from his chest saves himself from falling out a train window (briefly) by grabbing a string of sausages. It's Austria!). But there are so many set pieces, with so many different actors involved, that the necessary confusion - again, de rigueur in a romantic farce - is lost totally in the maelstrom of unnecessary incoherence and narrative laziness. Cruise escapes on two or three occasions from seemingly impossible situations (in a cell, hanging upside down, in a straight-jacket, swinging to and fro like a pendulum) without any explanation at all. But, then again, there was no good explanation of how he got there in the first place: easy come, easy go, I suppose.

None of the countless supporting characters has a hope of developing into anything more than a prop. Each, accordingly, fails to. The film gratuitously belts around the planet in search of exotic locales (I counted Boston, Kansas, Austria, Spain, the Azores and South America) and many of these seem to have been chosen purely to show off a CGI budget which, by its genre, the film really shouldn't need at all. There was no call for computerised charging bulls in Cadiz, cartwheeling motor-vehicles on divers freeways or buzzing space-aged jet-fighters in the Azores - but they threw them in anyway, perhaps in a magician's hopeful attempt to distract the viewer from the sleight of hand going on in front of his nose.

Diaz is her usual winsome, dippy and pretty self, and repeatedly shows off her winning/cloying (depending on your view) grin. Amusingly enough, she suffers from the deliberate running joke of being repeatedly drugged at critical junctures (on one occasion, even being subjected to a Vulcan Nerve-Pinch), but her character's arc is less plausible even than Cruise's. I suppose we should be grateful she even has one.
In fairness to Cruise and Diaz, they remain consummate professionals and make watchable something that could easily have been a train wreck. They both nail every one of their one-liners. Could this film possibly have worked without such reliable A-listers at the helm? I doubt it.

So why is this film called Knight and Day, then? There is half a reason, but it isn't a good one (Roy Miller's "real" name is Knight and (symbolically!) a plastic knight features as a MacGuffin of sorts) but there's no reason for the Day bit as far as I can detect. The producers tried and (rightly) rejected a couple of other names (the irrelevant "Wichita" and the lacklustre "Trouble Man": they didn't consider "Miller's Crossing" sadly), but the general issue with the name might point to the film's main problem: it's hard to name a film which has has almost no identity. Knight and Day is just kind of there - it coalesces, like a traffic jam at rush hour.

It's different from a traffic jam in that, at least for the first hour, it's tremendously entertaining

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More Knight and Day (2010 film) reviews
review by . June 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Cruise And Diaz Shows A Lot of Promise But The Script Blunders All Over....
“Summer Escapist Entertainment” is the exact description for “KNIGHT AND DAY”. The film has loads of potential going for it with two big name stars that promises great chemistry, beautiful scenery, an atmosphere of adventure and voluptuous romance; executed with lots of explosions and stylized action. Well, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz can always deliver entertaining dynamics to a motion picture, but the problem is, the direction and screenplay just cannot deliver on all the …
Quick Tip by . April 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
As I expected Knight and Day really fails on almost every level as it attempts to be a romantic-comedy, an action-comedy, and a sexy espionage story. Part of the problem is that the story is so banal and absurd that you can't ever take it seriously, but it's also so dull and unoriginal that it fails to be funny. Neither Tom Cruise (who again plays a dominant male action hero with an over abundance of confidence) nor Cameron Diaz (who again plays a ditzy loud-mouthed woman in the wrong place …
review by . December 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You May ConfuseTom Cruise For 007.
I have been a Tom Cruise fan for quite some time now and I could not wait until this movie came out in DVD, because I was worried about what the critics were saying about this movie. That is why I waited to see it until now, sometimes you should not listen to those critics. This was an amazing action movie with a lot of special effects, adventure, comedy and a thriller all mixed together. This did not last long at the theaters, but that is their bad luck and my good luck, because now I can add this …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Quick answer: sort of.      Knight and Day is that type of film that tries to be a lot of things, and in this case it's an action-comedy-romance and in the end the result is a little watered-down. In fact, director James Mangold opted to use a "drugged first person perspective" technique to short-cut the action sequences and get the story going. This is quite disappointing as the film had an enjoyable opening action sequence.      This star vehicle …
Quick Tip by . December 29, 2010
Just watched this movie for the first time, and I'm pretty impressed. I'm a Tom Cruise fan, plus a fan of the action/adventure genre, so this movie was a must see. Good plot, good acting, and basically an all around cool movie.
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Let me get this out of the way up front: I'm a Tom Cruise fan. Always have been. Sure, there's been some stinkers over the years playing Nazis, fighting aliens and the debacle w/ Kubrick (Eyes Stay Shut?)--but for the most part I've enjoyed his films because you typically get an entertaining flick featuring a Tom Cruisey-character. And lock, stock and barrel-- that's exactly what's delivered in Knight & Day.      Roy (Cruise) is a dashing, boyish covert …
review by . June 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 1/2 stars:
In this day and age,  in this era of films  spy movies  are literally a dime a dozen. They are one of the action genres most common uses for  an action/ adventure  picture  and have spawned many franchises, T.V. series, video games. You name it the spy genre has left there mark somewhere to make sure that you never forget them   the spy game has had a very successful run in the films. Although never quite commanding the respect they deserve from moviegoers …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
See my review on this one. Not as bad as critics lead you to believe.
review by . July 10, 2010
Knight and Day is the perfect movie for all those guys who have sat through a chick flick they didn't wanna and all those ladies who have sat through an action movie that they didn't care for. The movie combines the best of both worlds.    Tom Cruise might have all kinds of issues these days but none of them show in this movie, he combines the best of his younger action days with some sly comedy that constantly works.    Cameron Diaz plays the the 30 something …
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
It is unoriginal, uninspired and at sometimes rather cliche but "Knight and Day" is the kind of movie that summer is made for and proves to deliver on what it promises. Great escapism.
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Olly Buxton ()
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Member Since: Sep 26, 2009
Last Login: Dec 22, 2010 09:37 PM UTC
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About this movie


Knight and Day, (formerly titled Wichita and Trouble Man) is a 2010 action comedy film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The film, directed by James Mangold, is Cruise and Diaz's second on-screen collaboration following the 2001 film Vanilla Sky.

The film went through a period of "development hell"; which included a prior film director and multiple writers that worked on the script. Producers for Knight and Day went through multiple other actors for the lead roles before eventually settling on Cruise and Diaz. Adam Sandler, Chris Tucker, and Gerard Butler were considered by the film's producers for the male lead that later went to Cruise, and Eva Mendes was initially set for the role that Diaz later portrayed in the movie. The film's investors offset funding costs by paying Cruise a lower advance fee and neglecting to provide him with a share of the revenue until the financiers earn back their initial investment in the production. Filming took place in several locations, mainly in several cities located in Massachusetts, while other scenes were filmed in Spain and parts of Austria.

Knight and Day was released in the United States on June 23, 2010. The film received mixed reviews from film critics; it garnered a "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based upon aggregated reviews, and a rating of "mixed or average reviews" at Metacritic. Knight and Day performed poorly at the box office in its debut, proceeded to fall nine percent in...
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Director: James Mangold
Genre: Action, Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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