Every year, there always seem to be those two movies that have similar loglines duking it out for box office supremacy. Remember the dueling asteroid movies in the 90's? Armageddon and Deep Impact? Dante's Peak vs. Volcano? How about the two Truman Capote movies a few years ago?
This year's battle royale might not be so obvious at first, but Tom Cruise's Knight and Day clearly shares the basic plot of Ashton Kutcher's Killers. Luckily for Tom Cruise, Knight and Day aren't Killers. Well, not quite, at least.
Essentially, the plot boils down to this: unobservant hottie Cameron Diaz bumps into nutball secret agent Tom Cruise at the airport, several times mind you, and ends up sitting near him on a virtually empty plane. She goes to the bathroom and comes out to find everyone else on the plane dead, including the pilot. After that, Tom crash lands the plane and Cameron ends up going on the run with him as more and more bad guys come out of the woodwork to chase them.
It turns out that Roy Miller (Cruise) may be a rogue agent, and he's certainly crazy enough to make that assertion fly. He's also one of the most polite killers you'll ever meet, and a great multi-tasker too. Roy is able to have fluid conversations with June (Diaz) while in the middle of a gunfight. And boy does Tom have fun with Roy.
If Knight and Day proves anything, it's that celebrity charm can make an effective band-aid for deep gashes in a film's plot. Does that mean that Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl aren't charming? Probably not, but when it comes to charisma, Tom Cruise takes the cake.
And that's invariably the most fun part of Knight and Day: watching Tom Cruise ham it up over the course of the film's two hour running time. Of course, ridiculously bombastic chase scenes do help. Cameron Diaz, on the other hand, just isn't as captivating as she used to be. Did you see The Box? Maybe it's not her fault here, as she's constantly being knocked unconscious throughout the film. As we all know, it's hard to be charming when you're asleep. At least we get to see her in a bikini.
But it's the chemistry between the two stars that makes or breaks the picture, and Cruise and Diaz are clearly having a good time with each other, though the romance is in doubt. They cavort about like old friends or a brother/sister duo rather than lovers in over their heads. But at least they're having fun, which is what Knight and Day seems to be about.
Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis and Paul Dano round out the supporting cast, but none of them even comes close to stealing the show from Cruise, who seems to be jonesing for his Jerry Maguire days again. And though the film didn't need to be so long, it moves at a brisk enough pace where it doesn't become taxing.
Despite some obvious flaws, Knight and Day harkens back to classic Hitchcockian "fish out of water" films like North by Northwest and Charade, without taking itself too seriously or getting too stupid. And I always thought George Clooney was the new Cary Grant... It's not going to win any Oscars, but if you're looking for a fun time without a lot of thinking, or get talked down to like a retarded dog, Knight and Day may be for you.