Knight and Day (2010)

James Mangold directs Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Peter Sarsgaard in the action romance where a car parts dealer meets cute with a spy on the run and mayhem unfolds each subsequent time they cross paths.

I have discussed in my Mission Impossibe retrospective that Tom Cruise’s box office appeal is recovering from a decade long downward spiral. You could say this marked the nadir of his popularity. An undemanding OTT action romantic comedy that struggled at the box office. Significant not in that it was risk that didn’t pay off but that it was a safe bet that really didn’t deliver. The film itself is colourful, busy and inoffensive. It looks and feels like a blockbuster, a Mrs and Mrs Smith or a Romancing The Stone clone. Cameron Diaz and Cruise play well of each other, even if the set pieces around them come so thick and fast very little heat is generated in the brief interludes. Cruise’s character is almost a parody of his Ethan Hunt persona, a disavowed superhuman in skill and survival. And like Cruise himself it plays up on the fact both character and star are a little unhinged as well as being overly perfect, perfect to the point of ruin. Yet the action and romance and comedy all run out of pep at the one hour mark. You are left with two game stars waiting around in a plot the audience and the screenwriters have given up any interest on. There are certainly worse films, this at least entertains even when it doesn’t know what to do with itself, but you can see why there wasn’t any word of mouth to power it to  a profitable multiple after a lacklustre opening weekend.


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