Diaz Loves a Cool Miller
I like action movies, I like comedy movies but very few action comedies have really wowed me or wowed me enough to leave much of a lasting impression. It comes down to balance because either the comedy is too forced or the action is too comical and the balance of action, comedy and story never quite works. Then comes along "Knight and Day" and it nearly gets it right, or in fact it gets it right for about the first hour and half, goes wrong for a bit before coming good for the ending. Why it gets it right? Well two things really starting with ideal casting and that combines with fun action, it doesn't matter that the storyline has more holes in it than bullet holes in a baddy because it works as an adequate vehicle for action and fun.
All June Havens (Cameron Diaz - My Sister's Keeper) was trying to do was get home from a trip collecting vintage car parts so she can attend her sister's wedding, so when she gets embroiled in an agent being hunted down she is lost for words. The agent is Roy Miller (Tom Cruise - Tropic Thunder) who is protecting not only a revolutionary battery but also the young inventor but there are several parties after him and now has to protect June as she becomes the target of those trying to get to him.
Probably one of the cleverest things about "Knight and Day" is the casting and it is crucial to why it ends up so entertaining. I am not just on about the popularity of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz or that they work well as a couple on the screen but on what they bring to the movie. By that I mean we've seen Cruise play a super agent in "Mission: Impossible" and Cameron Diaz did sexy detective in "Charlie's Angels" so when they are both involved in action scene it feels right. But it also feels funny because they send up what they did in these previous movies.
This is where "Knight and Day" is also clever because whilst we have all the over the top and purposefully comical action it is the little things which make it fun. Cruise doesn't play Miller as just a cool agent, he is super cool, he smiles whilst in danger, he calmly asks for a door to be opened whilst hanging on the bonnet of a speeding car and everything is done with a calm politeness. Diaz does the same but she combines fun dizzy blonde into the mix so she will look good when she straddles Cruise to fire at some baddies but the gooey face she gives him makes you laugh. It's because we have both Cruise and Diaz having fun parodying their character types it makes all the big action acceptable.
Talking of which "Knight and Day" has some spectacular action from a fight on a plane to car chases and crashes which are out of this world. It is purposefully over the top and just the wrong side of looking fake because it adds to the amusement although at the same time a speeding chase on a motorbike is also exciting. Director James Mangold deserves a lot of praise for getting it spot on delivering that fine balance of make action exciting and fun without it going too far and just becoming stupid.
The thing about all this is that it distracts you from what is a weak plot riddled with plot holes. But whilst full of holes it doesn't matter as it works as a vehicle for all the action and comedy keeping things moving so that in the moment you don't see the problems.
What this all boils down to is that "Knight and Day" is a fun bit of escapist cinema which gets the balance right when it comes to comedy and action. It's not necessarily a movie you will go out of your way to watch again but you would watch if you caught it whilst channel surfing.