Knight and Day
(M) Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz
Tom Cruise is nothing if not the go-to guy for action films. The Mission Impossible franchise has yet another in the tank and Cruise is in top form in this latest espionage thriller that cracks along at a breakneck pace.
Tom Cruise plays Ron Miller, who as we meet in the film’s opening scenes is either a prize nutjob or secret agent. As he says early on, “You’re either with him, or not with him.”
And you need to stay with him as the plot and action takes more twists and turns than your average pretzel.
He targets June Davey (Cameron Diaz) on her way to the airport for her sister’s wedding. It is a ruse that has them crash landing in a corn field and narrowly escaping with their lives.
June is drugged at the scene of the plane crash only to wake up in her own bed the next morning with handy post-it notes all over the place. “Have some breakfast”— there’s a freshly made omelette on the oven; “Remember don’t tell anybody who I am” — easy, because it now all seems like a bad dream. So far, so surreal.
When she is baled up at her sister’s dress fitting everything seems perfectly clear. Ron Miller is a rogue agent who the CIA is after and she has been a pawn in his grand plan.
Of course this grand plan unravels very quickly and once more June is in the thick of something she never bargained for.
We find out who Ron Miller is when June does. The plot of the film unfolds as she is whisked around the world at breakneck speed.
Director James Mangold even goes as far as using a plot device that leaves the audience as clueless as June — when Ron doesn’t want her to know how they are going to escape a situation he drugs her, the film fades to black and voila — audience and June in an undisclosed location.
Of course this device is also a cheat and, if you think too hard, reveals some logic holes, but it certainly keeps the story clipping along between massive action set pieces.
Both Cruise and Diaz have been here before (him Mission Impossible I, II and III, her Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) but they have a genuine chemistry that gels what could have become an out of control steam train of a film. Both have proved their adeptness at both action and comedy and this seems the perfect vehicle for those talents.
You may have to check your brain at the door: this is big dumb fun.