Monday, July 12, 2010

Knight and Day (Review)

Spoilers ahoy!

A dear friend of mine did something lovely for me. She got free passes to a test screening of the film Let Me In a week or so back. This is a flick I look forward to with fervor. She drove us both over twenty miles to the mall, arriving early, but then when we finally reached the front of the line we were told our demographics were filled. We couldn't come in.


But they did give us passes to see a free film at that multiplex that night. Ultimately we chose to see Knight and Day. For those of you who don't know, this is Tom Cruise's latest action flick and it co-stars Cameron Diaz with folks like Peter Saarsgard in supporting roles. Less than ten minutes into the film I turned to my friend and said "Three Days of the Condor as a romantic comedy." Such was my first impression and pretty much remained the case throughout.

Roy is a secret agent who bumps into June en route to a plane to Boston. Since Roy is on the run from the CIA (or somebody like it) June becomes swept away in a series of life-threatening adventures. Yeah, they fall in love. Is it funny? Oftimes, yes. In particular, there's this hilarious sequence where Roy drugs June to keep her calm in a terrible situation--i.e. they are surrounded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers-of-fortune. What follows are the moments when June floats to consciousness for a few moments to see some horrifying/exhilerating situation for a few seconds before losing it again. Her eyes open to see Roy suspended upside down next to jumper cables and a car battery--he says to her "I know this looks bad but I've got it covered." Next she notices herself aboard an airplane with Roy strapping a parachute to her back and getting ready to push her out. Then she's on a boat in the middle of the ocean...

You get the idea.

In truth the whole flick is quite charming, if you're in the mood for something like it. Mind you, I'm awfully glad not to have forked over ten bucks to see it. Plus it never really pushes its quality over into something really compelling. In theatre one often reads or hears comments about the "well-made play" which is a nicely crafted plot according to some well-proven tricks of the trade. Well, Knight and Day is the cinematic equivalent. No real surprises. No risks taken. Complexity eschewed in favor of a smooth story, as opposed to a fascinating one. Well-done character quirks instead of character depth. What one ultimately gets is not a hearty meal but a pleasing h'ors deurve.

And I'm still trying to figure out the title. "Knight" makes sense well enough, for at least three reasons I can see. But "Day"???? Diaz means "day." Plus there is a cute (even slightly evocative) line about the word "someday" at the start and end of the film. But it is still a poor title that had me scratching my head.

1 comment:

Amy said...

"Knight" is such an overused pun. If they purposely named the character "Knight" just to have the pun in the title, you'd think they'd put the effort into making the rest of the pun make sense.