Saturday, July 3, 2010

Knight and Day

When I first saw the trailer for the movie Knight and Day, it immediately went on my must-see list since it reminded me of several favorite movies and TV shows. The Knight and Day trailer recalls the globe-spanning adventure of a classic James Bond film, the humor and style of the Hepburn/Grant caper flick Charade, and the chemistry between Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Now, I've never been much of a Tom Cruise fan, but apparently I'm really mellowing on this issue here lately. It all started with Valkyrie, which I loved in spite of his horrid accent, and then I found out I didn't mind the three Mission: Impossible films at all, and then last week I watched The Last Samurai for the first time and I LOVED it. All this to say that apparently I'm living, breathing proof that people really can change. *wink*

Did I mention I've seen Knight and Day twice now? :)

This movie is sheer fun from start to finish, and as the leads I thought Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz were terrific in their respective roles. As you can probably surmise from my first paragraph, in many ways this is a throwback movie, mixing glitzy, globe-trotting adventure, a wildly non-sensical threat to world peace, and a healthy dose of romantic banter. Let me be clear here - the storyline of Knight is RIDICULOUS. That said, I loved every second of it. Knight and Day is best viewed if you will determine to leave the analytical side of your brain and home and simply commit to enjoy the ride. After all, to be really successful an action/comedy/romance hybrid like this really needs to be a little silly, no? :) This movie in many ways defines the idea of a popcorn flick for me. It's got a great tongue-in-cheek tone that can be seen in everything from the script, to the way a scene is shot, to the use of the score to complement the action on-screen. Loved it all.

I really loved how Tom Cruise almost seems to be parodying his past roles in order to bring spy Roy Miller to life. Roy is the most ridiculous, super-serious, amped-up version of a spy I think I've ever seen on-screen. Did I mention that he's also strangely enough the most considerate? Roy's "pep talks" (for lack of a better term) to June, Diaz's character, are some of my favorite moments in the film, and also the most hilarious. You don't expect a spy played by Tom Cruise to go all Dr. Phil on their companion in the middle of a firefight. It's funny and random and random, when done right, is one of my favorite things. :)

Cameron Diaz plays June, the all-American girl who gets caught up in Roy's insane spy world. She also happens to own a garage and loves rebuilding classic cars, and it's a testament to the world of the film that I bought that 100%, with no reservations. If any actress in Hollywood is going to sell being able to work on cars for a living, can you think of someone better than Cameron Diaz? Seriously, I think not. *wink* I really liked Diaz and Cruise's on-screen relationship - they seemed to be having a lot of fun play off each other, and I really enjoyed watching the development of their relationship. Thanks to the confidence Roy instills in her, June begins to develop her own set of spy skills, and shows a heckuvalot of moxie from start to finish.

Peter Sarsgaard gets plenty of screentime as Roy's nemesis Fitzgerald. This movie doesn't give Sarsgaard nearly the material to work with that we got to see in An Education, but that's not what's required, obviously. Sarsgaard fits the bill perfectly as the "company" man determined to bring Roy Miller to justice. Fitzgerald is no Blofeld, that's for sure, but Sarsgaard seems to be having fun playing the guy determined to acquire the movie's ridiculous Macguffin, a.k.a. a really hot battery. I kid you not. But I promise, just abandon yourself to the fun of watching Roy leave instructive post-it notes scattered around June's apartment, and you won't care that the movie racks up an insane body count over a battery.

I loved the look of this movie, and it's peppered with some great special effects action sequences. The trailer gives you a good view of the car chase scene, but it's a lot of fun watching it play out from start to finish. And I LOVED the craziness of having June stuck in this life-and-death race through Boston wearing a bridesmaid's dress and work boots. Grace and practicality rather defines June's character, I suppose! The motorcycle chase in the middle of the running of the bulls in Spain is also slickly produced and fun to watch. Oh, and while these scenes weren't action heavy, I loved how June turns the tables on Roy at the end of the movie, mirroring many of the lines and situations he'd played on her earlier. It was cute and really a nice way to cap off the movie.

I've also got to hand it to John Powell, as he created a fantastic score for Knight and Day. It's definitely not your typical loud action movie score. Sure, there are passages of music that fit that bill, but the best pieces of music are the unexpected ones, such as during the fight on the airplane at the beginning of the movie. The music during that action sequence is light, airy, and funny, and for lack of a better way to describe it since I'm getting tired, I'll say it sounds French. It's music you'd expect to hear in a bistro, or during a movie like Charade, or To Catch a Thief, or even An American in Paris. The unexpected juxtaposition of music and action is just part of this movie's charm.

Final verdict - Knight and Day equals great summer escapism. I can't wait for the DVD. :)


Tales of Whimsy said...

Twice? Really.
Now that is quite the recommendation.

Lori Benton said...

This may be one for DVD. I occasionally like TC... if I can forget he's TC. If that makes sense. What struck me most in the trailer is how the man seems to be aging in slow motion, while the rest of us march along at regular speed.

Unknown said...

@Juju - I know, right? :)

@Lori - I do know what you mean, I used to be the same way. But as I said in the post apparently I'm really mellowing on the whole TC raising my blood pressure issue. ;) And I know EXACTLY what you mean abou the aging thing, he looks freakishly good in this movie. It boggles the mind...