Mismatched pairings aren’t particularly new for action-comedies, but it’s easy to do them just wrong and Knight of Day isn’t any different. It starts off from having Tom Cruise, an actor who can be extremely charismatic if he’s inside of a role that fits him, paired together with Cameron Diaz, who has always hit me as nothing more than a bland if pretty face. Those aren’t the least of my many problems that arise from Knight and Day, but with that factor out there, it’s already a bad sign. There are moments in Knight and Day that are funnier than all of the rest, but at best it’s only a light chuckle as opposed to what the film wished it could have brought out even more. Stuff really doesn’t get all that much worse from right down there though, but Knight and Day still never finds itself working even with the effort it tries to display.
Something that can easily be noted about Knight and Day is how it just feels so much like a film that was released far too late – as even with its considerable box office success, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are way past their prime. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Knight and Day feels very much like it’s a film that should have come out within the 1990’s because it feels very much like a product of the decade without that much of a mark to make nowadays. Not that something so uninspired would even have made that much of a positive mark even if it did come out during its proper time period, but I can’t seem to find all that much that it is presenting that would really make it worth remembering within days to come.
If I were to go down to the action sequences, there are moments that are extremely fun to watch particularly because they are eye-grabbers, but for the majority of them they feel so dull. You’re going to have Tom Cruise throw an occasionally funny one-liner then and there, but it doesn’t help that the set pieces never feel nearly half as exciting as they should. Even some of the most fun moments in the film just don’t even match up with what Knight and Day is setting out to be, because it never feels as if it is really trying to stand out amongst all other mismatched pair-focused action-comedies. It feels more as if James Mangold is just throwing as much as he can in your faces, but he forgot the key factor that makes an action sequence in the end, he forgot how to make them feel nearly half as energetic as they look.
Another one of Knight and Day‘s most glaring issues is that it just goes on about showing how mismatched Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are in your face. It’s something that only got on my nerves mainly because we have seen mismatched pairings that have had good chemistry together with one another, but no matter what is even happening, Cruise and Diaz never feel up to the job with one another. You can at least tell that Tom Cruise is trying because he’s trying to bring in some form of energy, but when he’s paired together with an actress like Cameron Diaz, it’s easy to see how things are going to fall flat right away. I’ve expressed distaste for Cameron Diaz already, but she is a movie killer in the case of Knight and Day, though I guess it isn’t so much her fault that the script wrote such an annoying character for her to play. It’s a pairing that makes just about as much sense as the logic that the film presents.
Maybe I can at least admit that there’s something to be picked out at least from how the film is making its many settings look great. For how terrible the script is, there’s a lot to come out at least from how the whole time, it just simply looks good even if the many glaring issues, whether it be from the dull storyline or uninspired action sequences are still running about. James Mangold at least seems to have an eye in this area, but I’m not particularly convinced that much else that he knows how to make a story like this nearly as exciting as it should be to begin with. If anything, watching the scenes that took place in Germany gave me an urge to go travelling down there sometime, but that’s really just about all I can remember about the scenes because of how beautifully all of these many locations looked on the screen.
I’m willing to suspend disbelief just to have fun, but Knight and Day is just letting all of the worst aspects it carries shine on the screen, whether it be the lack of chemistry between Cruise and Diaz, the uninspired nature of the action sequences, or the misplaced comedy. It feels very much like a film that came out at least ten years too late, but even if it had come out much earlier I’m not so sure that all of the glaring issues suddenly will have faded away. Some moments certainly are flashed with fun, but there’s nothing it presents that shows it wanting to stand out. Not bad enough? Well, one can try suspending disbelief over how many times Tom Cruise has Cameron Diaz drugged in this film wearing a different set of clothes whenever she wakes up. Try to take that image out of your head now.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Fox.
Directed by James Mangold
Screenplay by Patrick O’Neill
Produced by Cathy Konrad, Todd Garner, Steve Pink
Starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Grace, Paul Dano, Viola Davis
Release Year: 2010
Running Time: 110 minutes