June 23, 2010, - 11:46 am

Mid-Week Box Office: “Knight And Day”

By Debbie Schlussel

A lot of critics are panning “Knight And Day,” which debuted in theaters today.  But I found it light, enjoyable, and entertaining.  And that’s saying a lot, considering I dislike both lead actors in the movie–Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.  Despite his personal politics and bizarre behavior off-screen, Cruise shows, once again, that he truly is a great actor.  He’s that good, even in a plot that has some gaping holes.  Diaz is the usual–not exciting, but workmanlike enough in essentially playing herself.


The story:  Cameron Diaz is a woman headed home for her sister’s wedding.  At the airport, she keeps bumping into a flirty guy (Tom Cruise) and then learns she’s been bumped from her flight.  After fretting about it, she’s allowed on the flight.  But it’s not really a legitimate flight with real passengers.  Instead, it’s a plane flown by CIA agents out to kill rogue CIA agent Cruise, who has a secret battery with him that the government wants.  Cruise kills all of the passengers and crew, lands the plane in a field, and warns Diaz that she’s going to be hounded by government agents.  The next morning, Diaz wakes up at home and all is well.  But not for long.

For the rest of the movie, Diaz and Cruise are eluding CIA agents, including a rogue agent who set Cruise up, and some European mobsters.  They are trying to keep all of these villains from getting a battery with a never-ending power source.  There are car chases, a jaunt to a secluded desert island, chases through Europe, Boston, and beyond.

It’s funny, ever-moving, full of action, car chases, shootings, and killings.  In many ways, it’s an amusing parody of secret agent movies, including the Bond flicks.

But it’s actually far better than I’m describing.  Yes, the story has big, obvious mistakes and holes.  For example, wouldn’t Cruise–the CIA’s top undercover operative–know to ditch Cameron Diaz’s phone, if he truly wanted them “off the grid” and untraceable by authorities and mobsters?  But these are tiny details that barely detract from what is an otherwise good movie, the kind of stuff summer movies are supposed to be.  Yes, it’s not a deep story or even a solid one.  But that’s not the point.  It’s fun, escapist entertainment.  And for that purpose, it excels.  Could have been a little shorter, but that’s the case for most movies, these days.

In a summer season with few movies I liked, I thoroughly enjoyed and engaged with this one, smiling and laughing all the way through.  Yes, it’s got a predictable ending, but I liked the outlandish ride.  (Too violent for young kids, but fine for later teens).


Watch the trailer . . .

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11 Responses

I wonder if, during the filming of this, Diaz had to endure Cruise’s usual constant sales push to get her to join that organization he belongs to, which is essentially nothing but a big tax-exempt Manson family.

Daniel H on June 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

How is it he kills everyone on the plan except Cameron? Um, this is why I don’t go to movies, I guess.

mk750 on June 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Lay off, Tommy!

He’s living proof that aliens don’t age 😉

As goes Israel - so goes the World on June 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

The movie trailer looks just as you describe. Light escapist fare, and a hell of a lot more entertaining than ‘Shutter Island’.

BernardL on June 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Its a well done parody of the spy thriller. This is exactly the kind of movie you want to go to escape the summer doldrums.

NormanF on June 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Is our government the bad guy AGAIN in this movie? Now I am not one of the flag waving types, BUT I am sick of Hollywood demonizing our military and intelligence people just because they can’t get over the fact that the Soviets lost the Cold War and that people in this country occasionally elect someone to the right of Jerry Brown to important offices.

Gerald on June 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm

These two worked together before in that psycho movie October Sky so ita nice to see them together again. Tom’s a great actor but just alittle nutty. I can’t wait for this movie to make it to cable so I can see it.

THE LORD THOR on June 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Wow, what did it take to get Debbie to like this movie? An earthquake in Detroit? Oh, wait… ;^)

arby on June 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I’d be wary of ANY movie that features Tom Cruise.

Except “Tropic Thunder”.

All hail Xenu!

The "Reverend" Jacques on June 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

Gerald, you are right (as you often are). The steady drumbeat of anti-CIA propaganda in film after film has a powerful effect on viewers who don’t know any better–that is, young people and stupid liberals and moderates. Knight and Day has been compared a lot to Charade, which is also a cloak and dagger comedy, but the difference is that in the earlier movie, made in a more conservative era, the Agency (and Cary Grant) are all in the end described as good guys. Think of James Bond and the way the British Secret Service was looked at by Fleming, too. Don’t see that perspective any more.

I liked Knight and Day fine–especially the first 40 minutes which seemed to parody Cruise’s quirky, manic, jump-on-the-couch intensity. After that the film turned into a genial suspense-action romance which was okay but not particularly distinctive. (I preferred the recent Killers film based on an almost identical premise.)

Burke on June 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm

First I will kill myself and then I’ll kill her. The airplane scene was the most hilarious ten minutes of any film in recent memory. It’s not important that you believe me, nay, the important thing is that I believe what I’m writing. Good review On the Schizzel.

I'm the Guy on June 27, 2010 at 9:55 am

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