James Mangold might not be the most well known director in the world, but he does have some well known films under his belt, such as Walk The Line and 3:10 To Yuma. But how will his latest film, Knight And Day, featuring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz shape up?
Well, if you’ve seen the trailer for Knight And Day, you’ll know that it represents a distinct change in both style and pace for Mangold, which is sometimes a good thing, like when Christopher Nolan took the plunge with Batman.
Unfortunately, James Mangold hasn’t been so fortunate with Knight And Day, which is a film probably best described as something Michael Bay and McG might come up with if they ever decided to combine their creative talents and do a film together.
The premise of Knight And Day is simple: Roy Miller, played by Cruise, is an American agent on the run from the a pack of corrupt federal agents headed up by Peter Sarsgaard’s character, Fitz.
Miller has in his possession a valuable piece of technology that the government wants. He meets June Havens (Cameron Diaz) at an airport and uses her to smuggle the technology through customs.
As you’d expect, the feds are surveilling Miller at this point and, obviously not satisfied with nipping the situation in the bud, decide to put both Miller and June on the same flight together, and this, unsurprisingly, is where the action begins.
And if you’re after action, Knight And Day has it in bucket loads. Within the first fifteen minutes there are knife fights, snapped arms, oodles of classic Cruise smuggery and even a plane crash.
Amidst the action of the first fifteen minutes, though, something else becomes immediately apparent. This film is also meant to be a comedy. So, technically speaking, Knight And Day is an action-stroke-rom-com-stroke-thriller film, which kind of sounds like it’s trying to do too much. And, unfortunately, it is.
The plot, which concerns an everlasting energy source, the ramifications of its disclosure, government black ops and conspiracy has the potential to be very interesting, indeed. In fact, it actually sounds like a good film on paper.
Instead of running with this interesting subject, Knight And Day, to its detriment, focuses wholeheartedly on the milk curdling romance between its two protagonists, Roy and June.
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with this. Just look at the Bourne films. They’re action-packed, and the first two films also manage to fit in an unlikely love affair between Jason and his female counterpart, Marie, and all without losing track of the story or point of the film.
But Knight And Day isn’t a Bourne film and after about thirty minutes it becomes so cheesy that you begin to squirm in your seat and pray for a stray bullet to introduce some much needed tragedy into the hyper-glossy nonsense that forms the bulk of this film.
Nevertheless, the film does have some potential. For one, the cast is reasonably strong featuring There Will Be Blood‘s Paul Dano as Simon Feck, the scientist responsible for creating the everlasting energy cell, and Peter Sarsgaard as Fitz, the corrupt federal agent who is attempting to kill everybody involved in the conspiracy so he can sell the technology to the highest bidder.
Unfortunately, none of these more than capable actors are used to their full potential and the film maintains its thoroughly one dimensional, ‘Will Tom Cruise nail that really hot annoying woman?’ slant right up to the end credits.
The other characters and their back stories, as well as the actual technology, which is an interesting topic in itself, are neglected and simply serve as a means to enable some action, or explosions, or fighting, or car chases. Again, you get the idea…
But, on the plus side, if you like action, Michael Bay films and think Mission Impossible 2 was loads better than Brian De Palma’s infinitely superior original, then you’ll probably absolutely love the balls-out action of Knight And Day.
However, if you prefer your action with a bit of supporting substance, like a story or a smidgeon of character development, then you should probably stay well clear of Knight and Day. It’sbasically like sitting through a peculiar experiment where some bright spark thought it’d be a good idea to take all the worst aspects of Charlie’s Angel‘s and Mission Impossible 2 and combine them in a new film, call it Knight and Day, and hope no one notices. Consider them rumbled.