A Wasted Day and a Boring Knight

The biggest problem with James Mangold’s “Knight and Day” is that it takes you on such an unpredictable ride that you’ll find yourself pondering what genre it belongs in throughout.

Normally that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but this film never establishes any sort of momentum in any one given direction, feelings like a mish-mash or hybrid of movie cliché that ultimately cannot keep itself above water.

A true shame, because with two stars like Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz at the helm and a more than solid supporting star in Peter Sarsgaard, it had plenty of potential, but that all occurs before the opening credits roll.

Once the movie actually starts, it becomes a jumbled mess that doesn’t have enough action to be considered a romp, while lacking the sex appeal and intrigue to be a thriller and the hilarity to be a romance comedy, making it a haphazard attempt at a summer blockbuster that is a barely decent date movie but nothing more.

This is mostly due to the fact that the characters lack any real depth and the rate of the plot progression is slower than a tortoise on tranquilizers. Once you find out what is really going on here, you can’t force yourself to care. Cruise’s character, Roy Miller is an interesting one [women will love his bravado and men will appreciate his ability as an undercover ass-kicking machine] and overall, his performance isn’t terrible, as it’s filled with awesome stunts, witty one-liners and plenty of cool fights, but it’s not enough to turn this film around.

The same thing goes for Diaz, who is more than cute and alluring here and by the end. Even though she does win you over, it’s not exactly by a logical progression of events. Being the scared and timid woman throughout, she eventually becomes the tough girlfriend of a secret agent who can do more than handle herself in the line of fire. This all happens so quickly that you’ll find yourself lost. As a result, the flick loses it’s staying power quickly and forces you to think of what could have been if the script was written better and these actors were given decent direction.

While Cruise and Diaz are generally okay here, Sarsgaard, who plays the villain here, is wasted completely. A guy that has proven himself in films such as “Shattered Glass” and “Orphan” over the past decade, he could have done an honorable job, but wasn’t given enough time on camera and nearly enough dialogue to make the viewer hate him. Instead, much like the rest of the film, you’re left wondering what his true intentions are. When you ultimately find out what’s going on, it feels like a shoddy episode of “Miami Vice,” and Sarsgaard ultimately ends up the biggest loser of all.

Add in a more than cheesy ending and all the positive attributes of the film, like the cool fighting scenes and Cruise and Diaz getting into all sorts of crazy situations with everyone and their mother shooting at them and things blowing up, are all for naught.

In the end, the ends simply don’t justify the means, as the film gets way too cute for its own good. After seeing spies thrown out of train windows and people being shot in point-blank range, it’s just too much to stomach. Those who were expecting another “Bourne” film will be disappointed, as will those who were looking to for a romance comedy.

The same thing goes for anyone looking to have a decent time in the theater.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9449 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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