Every Girl Wants Her Knight in Shining Armor
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, George Viola Davis, Paul Dano
Running Time: 109 minutes
I’m the first person you can count on to jump up and yell “I love Tom Cruise!”, and not in a stalker kind of way. I appreciate the man. Sure, he made us question his sanity the day he decided to jump up and down on Oprah’s couch (word?). Regardless, you cannot deny the man’s impact in a film. He may have sailed along under the radar for a while, but Cruise knows what he’s doing, and he’s back with Knight and Day.
Cruise plays special agent Roy Miller, who has been blackmailed by a fellow colleague and must now, on his own, protect a device called the ‘Zephyr’ which may or may not be used for some kind of plot to attain world domination. Diaz plays June, a stunning, happy-go-lucky, everyday woman who happens to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time; a meet-cute that was actually carefully formulated by Cruise. Mishaps, a lot of running & flying, firearms, explosions, truth serums, chasing, and globe trotting ensue shortly after.
This isn’t one of those movies where you should expect some brilliant plot/script. Just sit back, and enjoy, because it really is quite entertaining. However, one of its downfalls was that the CGI was well overdone. Nearly everything seems to have been shot on a green screen, including the bulls. Shame. The overly abundant CGI implementation takes away from the film. I feel it could have better without it and it’s disappointing that with charming actors like Diaz and Cruise, who can bring in the dollars via their names alone, studios still felt the need for so much CGI. What? Cruise is a top action star (I’m sure he can manage himself) and Diaz lights up the screen with her infectious smile and laugh. Really? Tone it down a little next time. All the same, it could have been poorly done CGI, so we should very much appreciate that it was at least tasteful.
I also found Diaz irritating at times. Well, not Diaz per se, but her character, June. At times she was often very naïve and too panicky. I found her most appealing when she tightened up her balls and kicked ass. See scene where she shoots from the motorcycle. Miller really wasn’t entirely that different from the other secret agents Cruise has played (i.e. slick, quick with words, witty, bad-ass). I’m really trying not to be too picky about this film because like I said, it was enjoyable indeed. But just because it’s fun action flick with admirable actors, doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a little extra oomph here and there to make it just that much better. Speaking of admirable actors, what was Paul Dano doing? He played Simon Feck, the brilliant high school genius behind the mysterious ‘Zephyr’. However, he came off as…somewhat mentally disabled? It seemed like he was aiming for the typical awkward yet genius teenage boy, but totally missed the mark. I feel that that kind of character is always supposed to be somewhat dorky, but has a certain quality you find endearing. I think a Shia LaBeouf, Michael Cera or Jesse Eisenberg would have been better suited for the role. All the same, Paul Dano is more than qualified, which is why I was confused by his portrayal. And I suppose it is good that the aforementioned actors did not fulfill this role, if not to fuel more stereotyping.
The Long and Short: It was good to see Diaz and Cruise together again and their chemistry faired well in this high-octane action-comedy-romance thrill ride. It was fun, explosive and entertaining.
My Recommendation: I recommend you see it not only because of Diaz and Cruise, but also if you’re in the mood for a good time.
Favourite Scene: When Diaz gets tough and starts shooting from the speeding motorcycle.