'Knight and Day'—Review
So over the last few months, I have been on a real Tom Cruise kick. I have rewatched all the Mission Impossible films, Rain Man, War of the Worlds, Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky, and now Knight and Day. I remember watching the trailer for this film when it came out and it looked like a fun movie, but for some reason, it just slipped through the cracks until now. However, after watching it, I wasn't too upset that it took me this long to watch it because the one word I can use to describe this movie is "lazy".
I can pinpoint two major reasons why this film is lazy. Number one, I'm not a fan of movies that can't dish out information and exposition to the audience in a clever or even simple way. Instead, they have the movie start and they throw you right into the action and story. No problem with that what so ever. My problem comes when it's 30 minutes into the movie and I still don't actually know why anything is happening. Why is Tom Cruise doing all these things? Who is he? Why is the government after him? Who is this government-like agency? What does Cameron Diaz's character have anything to do with this? Questions like this don't have to be spelled out right as soon as they come up, but it got to a point where I was losing interest because while I am watching Tom Cruise do some stunt work and take part in some action scenes (with some questionable CGI by the way) I simply don't care about what is happening.
But then, we get the info dump scene. We have a scene where the story slows down and Tom Cruise simply explains to Cameron Diaz what is going on. Also bringing the audience up to speed in the process. "My name is this and the bad guys are these people who want this and you are this because of exhibit A, B, and C. You got that? Okay, let's move on." I don't like when movies do this. It just seems like lazy screenwriting. Surely there had to be a way to dish out that information in a more subtle way or even spread it out over the duration of the first act. What's worse is that it happens two more times in the movie.
The second reason for this film being lazy is that they use this gag once to transition between scenes and locations and at first, it's a unique way to not only transition scenes but it provides some laughs too. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are stuck in this warehouse where a bunch of bad guys is shooting at them. Cameron Diaz obviously has no training in weaponry or combat and is constantly screaming. So Tom Cruise knocks her out and off camera, Tom Cruise defeats all the bad guys, flees and Cameron Diaz wakes up on a tropical island. Okay, once is fine because it did get a few laughs out of me. However, much like the info dump scene, they did it again and again. Then it hit me that these transitions weren't just for laughs, they were the byproduct of the screenwriter looking at his script and saying,
"Oh no! How do I get these characters out of this situation and location and get them on the Orient Express in Austria? Oh, I know! Have Tom Cruise make Cameron Diaz unconscious again and she just wakes up there. That way, we don't need to show anything."
So with a lazy story that lacks heart, the only real silver lining I can find with this movie is the two leads. Cruise and Diaz do have chemistry together and are always fun to watch on screen. But it's not enough to save this movie and get me to give it a recommendation. Even though it has Tom Cruise in it, I'd say skip this one.