Tom Cruise returns to our screens in his first big feature since Valkyrie. He’s re-teamed with his Vanilla Sky co-Star Cameron Diaz, and hooked up with Director James Mangold (Identity, 3:10 to Yuma, Walk The Line, Copland.) Only a director who married a producer could get away with that amount of genre range!)
So, this time out Cruise plays a toothy, grinny, optimistic, charming spy whose idea of a day’s work includes multiple target physical combat, crashing planes, leaping onto moving cars and speeding motorbikes down narrow alleys.
Cameron Diaz’s mechanic on the other hand finds this all a bit much (yet somehow manages to convince herself to go along with it all) as her enigma ridden new partner swoops her up into a globe-trotting adventure. Of course it isn’t long until some sub-standard villains come calling and try to rain on their parade.
This is ultimately a comedy, a retro comedy at that, with nods to a few grand masters along the way. The Gotan Project riddled soundtrack keeps it bouncing along in light hearted mode and it’s this that keeps the film from sinking to depths beyond anyone’s help as a clunky, nonsensical and whimsy film that struggles to raise the laughs. I never thought I’d say it but Cruise and Diaz’s time in the sun may have passed – as evidenced by a beach scene where it’s getting all to obvious that they don’t quite cut the figures they used to – but, if anything, it’s refreshing to see them not look quite so refined. In shape yes, but getting old!
The supporting cast probably suffer even worse as Hispanic villain Jordi Molla is barely given much screen time to make the kind of impression he has in past American films like Blow and Bad Boys 2. Peter Sarsgaard as the treacherous spy is given slightly more time but very, very little to do with it, which is a shame as he is one of those actors that can actually act (see Kinsey for prime evidence).
The set pieces though are riddled with some pretty bad computer effects and don’t bring much in the way of realised danger, especially seeing as Cruise’s character always seems near indestructible. It’s impossible to ever worry about him.
As I said before though, the film is so light hearted this isn’t going to make much difference, but with the likes of Toy Story 3 and Inception out there at the same time using brains and storytelling, Knight and Day may have trouble getting its big audience – hell, even the kids are too busy off watching Twilight!