Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review: Knight and Day

I’ll start off by saying that I don’t hate Tom Cruise. He’s a nutball, but let’s be honest, most actor’s are a little nuts. Especially when they’ve had the kind of success he’s had over the years; even more so when they’re on the waning side of their careers. I’ll even go so far as to say I somewhat understand his devotion to Scientology. Right or wrong, he believes it cured his dyslexia; not really any different from someone who comes to Jesus because their cancer disappeared. That said, this is suppose to be review of Knight and Day.

I’ll admit I was quite skeptical upon seeing the trailers for this movie. It just seem so contrived. It felt like a runner up. It turns out this is true. If you don’t know the story essentially Tom Cruise was initially asked to play “Edwin Salt” in the movie Salt. He balked at their first offer, and instead of playing ball, (He wanted to play ball) they just rewrote the entire script, changed every “Edwin” to “Evelin” and it became an Angelina Jolie movie. Salt looks like a much better movie even though it looks like a Tom Cruise movie. Knight and Day was obviously a runner up. A job he took because 1) he wanted to show the studio that his Spy Film would do better and they fucked up, and 2) flex his comedic muscle because everyone loved him in Tropic Thunder.

The first big glaring issue with this movie is the Ethan Hunt problem. It’s a problem with a lot of actors who have played an iconic character (we can debate whether Ethan Hunt is iconic some other time). Most actors avoid movies within the same genre as their established characters. You’d never see Sean Connery in another spy movies. You’d never see Harrison Ford in another Action Adventure. Top Cruise is Ethan Hunt super-spy. Tom, as good as an actor as he is, wasn’t blessed with much depth. He only really knows how to play one Spy, and that’s Ethan Hunt. Put him in another spy movie, and you have a hard time imagining him as anyone else. It even helps a bit to believe that this is some kind of light hearted Hunt story between MI III and MI IV.

Regardless, the story is actually OK. The overall acting is OK. Tom is good even funny. It’s a fun summertime story. It does have an odd structure in that we the audience are actually following Cameron Diaz’s character. The action and the weirdness of it all is seen through her eyes. So many times in the film Tom’s character drugs her to keep her quiet, when this happens we lose our window into the events. It was funny initially, it did become a little annoying towards the end when some of the best action sequences are cut short by these blackouts. It almost seemed like a way of saving money so they didn’t actually have to film these sequences.

In the end, the biggest weak link in the whole deal is Cameron Diaz. She’s horrible. It’s hard for me to believe after watching the Mask a few weeks ago that she’d age so badly. She just isn’t believable as the “Young Ditsy Blond” anymore. She’s suppose to be the comic relief and all she does is stomp on every joke; instead she broadcasts every joke like Jerry Lewis. I’m expecting her to queue a rimshot at any moment.

I’d say it’s a definite rent. Unless you have nothing else to do no sense wasting $10 on this, but it’s enjoyable none-the-less.