Review: KNIGHT AND DAY (2010) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Review: KNIGHT AND DAY (2010)

RATING: 2.5/5

Once upon a time, a Hollywood summer movie tentpole would not be complete without delivering an event picture that featured a pair or a couple of A-list superstars. There are also the time when a superstar alone can open a movie. But by today's standard and the increasingly picky and sophisticated audiences, such gimmick is no longer a trend whatsoever. Which is why, it's a refreshing delight to see the once-trendy gimmick made a comeback in KNIGHT AND DAY, which paired two major movie stars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Not only that, the movie has all the right ingredients of a potential summer hit as well -- spectacular action, gorgeous locations and a crowd-pleasing genre of action-comedy-romance hybrid thrown into the mix. Well, that is at least for the first half of the movie before everything is bogged down with overlong expositions and terribly hackneyed (not to mention equally lazy) payoff.

Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) has his eyes particularly on June Havens (Cameron Diaz) the moment he spots her in a busy airport. While Roy has a secret agenda of his own, June is preparing to board a flight back home for her sister, April's (Maggie Grace) wedding. In a series of fixed coincidences, they bump into each other for a few times before both of them getting on the same plane. It is ironic that the plane has only few passengers onboard but nevertheless they quickly get to know each other. When June excused herself to go to the bathroom, who is in turn actually planning her next move, Roy is besieged by the other passengers, flight attendants and pilots, killing all of them in a slick fashion. With everyone else dead, Roy has no choice but to crash-land the plane in a cornfield. It was certainly a freaked-out night for June and Roy has done a favor by drugging her into sleep. June wakes up the next morning in her own bed in Boston, wondering what has happened earlier. Too bad that's not the last time she will ever see Roy, and it doesn't take long before they meet each other again -- this time in a highway chase -- which also involved some pursuits by mysterious federal agents lead by Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard). And again, Roy manages to save June from total harm. From there, she has unwittingly involved in a globe-trotting adventure that takes her far away from home which includes journey to Austria, France and Spain. Amidst all the confusion and danger, June starts to fall in love with Roy and also gradually learns that Roy is actually protecting a valuable new energy source invented by Simon Feck (Paul Dano) from falling at the wrong hands.

The first half of the movie is no doubt a spectacular entertainment that blessed with Patrick O'Neill's snappy screenplay and James Mangold's smooth direction. This is especially fun when things doesn't reveal much of the characters' motivations and the surprises alone is just compulsively watchable. The action is also top-notch and well-staged, at least for the first half, especially in the earlier scenes involving the fight sequence inside the airplane; the crash-landing scene down into the cornfield; and a spectacular car chase at the highway. Both Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are absolute delight to watch for, as they ooze enough charisma and sex appeal that they are certainly having a whole lot of fun playing their roles without taking things too seriously.

KNIGHT AND DAY could have been a wholesome summer hit, if not for its second half which grows weaker and lazily-constructed at each passing minutes. It is as if everything from there is done in a rushed job. All of the sudden, O'Neill lively script gradually turns sour and loses steam with little enthusiasm. Even Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz overstay their welcome long before the movie is over. The action is also less exciting from what that has came before, and worst, they are over-reliant on CGI -- evidently in the climatic finale involving a motorcycle chase during the running of the bulls.

Not a perfect popcorn flick one might expect in the first place, but at least this half-baked effort remains a a worthwhile summer entertainment.

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