Knight and Day
When June Havens (Cameron Diaz) boards a plane headed for Boston, she doesn’t expect it to crash. It’s fair to say she also doesn’t expect to survive thanks to secret agent Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) – who may or may not have just killed everyone else on board. June, a restorer of old cars, is on her way back home from Wichita with car parts when she becomes the unsuspecting mule for Roy to transport a long-lasting battery, the Zephyr, through security. This encounter throws her into a world of high speed chases, assassins, and guns – lots of guns.
So begins Knight and Day (2010), a romantic-comedy-action movie that takes our protagonists from country to country, tracking down the Zephyr creator, Simon Feck (Paul Dano), and keeping the battery from falling into enemy hands. The CIA, lead by director Isabel George (Viola Davis), believe Roy to have “gone rogue” and arms dealer Antonio (Jordi Molla) waits for the Zephyr to be delivered to him.
The lead characters aren’t particularly well developed. At times, it feels as though the film makers are resting on the actors’ star power. Diaz and Cruise are likeable enough with Diaz’s June exemplifying the every-woman, and Cruise’s Roy skirting the line between charismatic and creepy. Make no mistake; Roy Miller can turn on the charm even in the highest pressure of situations, complimenting June on her bridesmaid’s dress while clinging to the bonnet of a speeding car, and the next moment making the audience give him the side-eye as he drugs June without her prior knowledge. You see where the creepy comes in.
Cruise and Diaz have chemistry and it’s enjoyable to watch them playing off each other, but this chemistry does not feel romantic. Indeed, it’s difficult to believe that the romantic aspect of Roy and June’s relationship is anything more than adrenalin-fuelled and symbiotic. Whether this is due to the acting, directing, or scriptwriting (or a healthy dose of all three) is not certain but, given how much the characters give up for and learn because of each other, there’s a lack of genuine affection in their interactions.
If the lead characters aren’t well developed, Roy’s adversaries are even less so, with one German assassin seeming more a caricature of the indestructible killer and Antonio coming across as a bit of a joke. Unfortunately, Antonio’s main scene coincides with June on truth serum and this does the character no favors.
The plot isn’t new and there are some scenes that strain believability, the plane crash scene being one and the car/motorbike chase during the Running of the Bulls being another. In addition, there are some scenes that are cringe-worthy: June on truth serum comes to mind, as does Roy holding her drugged form in his arms to a backdrop of flaming carnage while whimsical, romantic music plays. Needless to say, it’s cheesy. But, throughout it all, there’s a great sense of adventure. Roy has a private island, and their jaunt takes them to Austria and Spain.
It’s hard to imagine how Roy and June’s relationship will progress after the movie’s end. They leave on more of an equal footing which is nice and, to be honest, quite a relief. I, personally, would not mind a sequel; seeing how they’ll make a team now that they’re both as trigger-happy as each other would, no doubt, be a hoot.