Blu-Ray Review: ‘Knight and Day’ With Tom Cruise Should Have Been Better

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CHICAGO – “Knight and Day” is a leaky tire of a movie. It starts off spinning as it promises a delightful action/adventure flick with two stars at their most-charismatic. By the middle of the film, it’s clear that something has sprung a leak. By the end, it’s just flat. Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

There’s nearly enough entertainment value in the first act of “Knight and Day” to warrant at least a rental. Remember those slam-bang previews that were everywhere this summer (and have returned with the film’s Blu-ray release)? As is often the case, they contained most of the “good stuff” from the movie, it just happens to all be in the first half. “Knight and Day” is a film that proves movie magic is not just the sum of its parts. Charming stars, beautiful locations, tightly-shot action scenes — but it just never comes together. That intangible variable that turns chemistry into magic and action into memorable moments is just not there.

Knight and Day was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Knight and Day was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Photo credit: Fox

Director James Mangold clearly set out to make a film not unlike “Romancing the Stone” or the romantic/spy material of Cary Grant (“North by Northwest,” “Charade”) but I think he learned that pulling something like that off is more than just location-scouting and casting. It takes an extra X factor that just isn’t here.

Knight and Day was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Knight and Day was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Photo credit: Fox

“Knight and Day” opens with Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) looking for someone at the Wichita airport. It turns out that he’s not looking for love, just a mule to transport something dangerous through security. He finds an unlikely candidate for a random pat-down in June Havens (Cameron Diaz), a naive mark for a super-spy. He leaves her at the gate and continues on his dangerous way.

The problems start when strings are pulled by Roy’s superiors (including Peter Sarsgaard and Viola Davis) and June ends up on the same plane as Roy. Before long, everyone on the plane, including the pilots, are dead and June has plunged headfirst into an international espionage drama that could play a role in stopping a notorious criminal from getting his hands on a deadly weapon. Roy keeps June around to make sure she’s safe but, of course, he starts to fall for her as well. Can she trust him? Is he super-spy or super-crazy? The movie spins from Kansas to Spain and back again as romance blooms amid the explosions.

The overall charm of Cruise and Diaz make the first act of “Knight and Day” nearly delightful. Diaz hasn’t been this likable in years (and really should try to play nice more often instead of the shrews in junk like “What Happens in Vegas”) and Cruise is in pure movie star mode. It’s easy to believe he would be trusted even as he’s killing everyone around him, and the fact that many people consider the actual movie star to be a bit left-of-center helps keep the character unpredictable. Planes crash, cars spin, and “Knight and Day” starts with such a high caliber of action/comedy that it becomes a plate-spinning act for Mangold and writer Patrick O’Neill and they start crashing to the ground.

An hour into the film, all the questions are answered — we know who the good guys and bad guys are and we know the actor and actress will eventually get together and how the movie will end — and it’s just not as easy to care. The manic lunacy of the first act is replaced by formula and Mangold can’t pull off the transition. He’s having fun in the first half of the movie and going through the motions in the second act. It’s a film that starts off with the promise to be an unpredictable zig-zag of spy action and romantic comedy that becomes a straight line of neither.

Special Features:
o 1080p Widescreen 2.40:1
o English 5,1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
o “Wilder Knights and Crazier Days”
o “Boston Days and Spanish Knights”
o Knight and “Someday” Featuring the Black Eyed Peas and Tom Ccruise
o “Knight and Day: Story”
o “Knight and Day: Scope”
o BD-Live: Live Lookup
o DVD Version
o Digital Copy

“Knight and Day” stars Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, and Marc Blucas. It was written by Patrick O’Neill and directed by James Mangold. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 30th, 2010. It is rated PG-13 and runs 109 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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