Summer Film Series – Vol. 8, No. 4: KNIGHT AND DAY
My favorite kind of movie is the one I don’t have to pay to see, and when it comes to Cameron Diaz and (more and more) Tom Cruise, that’s pretty much the only way to put me in the audience of their movies. Free tickets is the case here, but it turned out that Knight and Day offered one more incentive for me: Marc Blucas in a goofy minor role with quite the unattractive ‘stache. I’d pretty much seen his whole schtick in all of the trailers for the film, but I found myself laughing each and every time it played. (Check it out in the trailer posted below as he plays the incredulous ex-boyfriend of Cameron.) It’s a little thing, of course, but it was just what I needed to tip the scales in favor of seeing Knight and Day at the cinema. Interestingly, Tom and Cameron ended up really surprising me by presenting a truly enjoyable popcorn flick with amazing cinematography and pumped-up action. Which is my favorite kind of summer movie.
Knight and Day is a true action-adventure, but what sets it apart from every other Tom Cruise action movie is that he doesn’t take himself seriously at any moment during the film. It’s the most freely performed role I’ve ever seen him play, and he appears to be having the time of his life. I actually liked this Cruise! And I had pretty much given up hope of ever really liking him again. I don’t deny his talent, but I haven’t seen him relax into a character in quite a long time. In this movie, he just let go and let the performance emanate from maniacal joy. In doing that, he also gave Diaz a perfect platform to jump into her own character, who is much more uptight (though somewhat daft much of the time) yet makes a believable transformation throughout the film. I can’t say I liked either character completely or that I really had any sentiment toward them at all, but Knight and Day provided me a terrific laughter-filled block of time that surprised me and kept me engaged. If Cruise goes on to play a few more of these roles, if he lets his guard down and just inhabits his characters the way he used to (before he was “TOM CRUISE”), then I can see myself trusting him to provide quality entertainment once again. For that possibility (and the goofy Blucas moments), I can say that I really did love Knight and Day.
still image via Rotten Tomatoes and linked to source