Knight And Day ***


Finally we get an action film that relies on actual stunts and set pieces as opposed to computer animation.  I can’t tell you how relieved I was to see a film where the camera is put in a spot where we can see and make sense of all the action it is recording.  After seeing a movie like “The A-Team”, where the the screen is littered with chaotic, fragmented, computer generated images, anything that we can see clearly is a breath of fresh air.

Now that I got that out of my system, I am also happy to report that “Knight And Day”, the new action film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, is actually a lot of fun.  It is not a sequel, remake, reimagining, prequel or a spin off.  It is an original story.  Now that doesn’t mean it is ground breaking.  An action adventure involving spies, action and exotic locations has been done time and time again.  I’m just happy that this movie is a stand alone story. 

Cruise plays a spy named Roy Miller.  The opening scenes show him casually stalking June, played by Cameron Diaz.  They are both at an airport, and he seems to be plotting a way to meet her for suspicious reasons.  Eventually they find themselves both on a red eye flight.  This ends with Cruise being attacked by assassins and being forced to land the plane in a corn field. 

From there the movie is essentially one long chase picture with Cruise shooting and driving his way out of lots of dangerous situations with the hapless Diaz tagging along for the ride.  There is a bit of a half baked plot about him protecting a new energy source that is being sought after by the usual assortment of bad guys.

Director James Mangold, fresh off the awesome “3:10 To Yuma”, chooses to shoot this with as much live action photography as possible and let me be the first to say, thank you very much Mr. Mangold.  The action, which is mostly outrageous by the way, looks and feels real!  Why?  Because it is mostly done with stunts, sets and actual visual effects.  CGI is only employed when it is absolutely necessary and even then, it is barely noticeable. There is always a sense of gravity and danger during most of the action scenes.

I was also happy to see Cruise back in a comedic role.  I personally hope this movie is a massive success because he is and always will be, a great actor.  This movie plays to his strengths by giving him funny dialogue and sort of self kidding demeanour.  Diaz is fun as well.  She is a good sport through all of Cruise’s antics.

In a summer that has been dominated by disappointments it is nice to see that someone has put some faith in an original story.  Lets hope audiences reward them for it.


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