Saturday, June 26, 2010

Knight and Day

The Flick: Knight and Day

The Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Saarsgard, Viola Davis, Dale Dye, Paul Dano,Marc Blucas, etc.

The Dealio: Derring-do stunt-a-thon meets romcom meets nudge-nudge-wink-wink caper flick meets summer popcorn fodder in a movie that starts off sprinting, then jets (literally) into action overdrive. After not one, but two meet-cute run-ins (ordained by the cinematic overlords so that we are able to establish that Cruise's Roy is up to something besides getting his casual flirt on and that Diaz' June is both cute and oblivious), there is more snap, crackle and pop going on here than in a cereal factory during a milk tsunami. Ready? Seat belts on? Off we go:
Roy, a charmer-with many flashes back to the ol' patented Risky Business glance over the Raybans- abruptly morphs into a one man killing machine with, inexplicably-at least for now-a soft spot for June, a car restorer with great legs and terrible taste in men. On an airplane. In midflight. While she is in the bathroom, applying make-up and talking herself into startin' somethin' with the dude.
After walking away from a crash site (it's in all the ads, so I am not giving anything away), Ray slips June the first of several mickeys in order to whisk her-a citizen without passport-or really any sort of utility belt features, save an indestructible cell phone with intergalactic reception, but in possession of a learning curve of a Einstein/McGiver clone- to, variously, Spain, Austria and some sort of tropical island. Because, you see, Roy is actually some sort of rogue agent for an alphabet-named government agency. That, or one truly heroic, honest man amongst myriad cheater faces, who also happens, despite being on the lam, to have unlimited access to the most ultimate accessories known to any agent since double oh seven himself.
The story is that, supposedly, Roy is protecting both a unique and powerful battery, (yes, yes, a battery...and better than the one that keeps on going and...well, you know), and the young genius who created it (a remarkable, low-keyed Dano, who plays Simon like a newly-hatched chick, staring around him in eye-blinking lack of comprehension of the vagaries of man. With maths, he has no peer. With the affairs of daily life, the man-child has no experience). Ooooorrrr, all of that is cover for the agent having snapped his cap and gone on a killing rampage. You pick.
Dump in a few switchbacks- I love the way that any time our dynamic duo gets into seemingly inescapable trouble, the film has us see things through June's befuddled, knock-out-drops-fuzzed eyes. Hop to one instant after the crises have passed. Why mess about with the deets? Simply take it as given that Roy is indefatigable and undefeatable. Wrap the whole thing up in the only acceptable way possible: direct confrontation between the goodies and the baddies. And some encounters with rampaging bulls, flipping motorcycles, Publishers' Clearinghouse wins (2!), some truly inspired driving and a coupla really choice explosions.

The Grading Session: 4.189 pengies out of 5. This was the equivalent of going to the caterers to have a taste-test for your major event: lots of nibbles: some inspired and tasty, some attractive but not very nourishing, others unfortunate in their impertinence. None of which will stay with you for more than 2 hours, but neither should they send you at high speed to the nearest hospital for a round of stomach-pumping, either. In short: your classic, 'get-out-of-the-heat alternative to the World Cup afternoon at the movies'. Also- a bit less dwelling on Cruise's eye-crinkles and Diaz' make-up free complexion would be keen.

Lessons Learned: Roy can apparently re-rig an orbiting satellite with nothing more than an Allen wrench and a junior mint. Question: where is this man when I can't get my copier to produce anything more than an error a:25 media alert message?
Also this: whoever the governmental agency is using to book their travel- I want them to handle mine from now on. Great accommodations at the last minute, fab vehicles of every description at their beck and call, replacement clothing-better than the originals- apperate, seemingly out of thin air. Is it so wrong to want this, too?

Oh, come on. Go see it; it'll get you out of the house and is distracting and non-fattening, too.

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