Hard day’s knight

While the plot of Knight and Day is essentially irrelevant to the movie as a whole (did I say ‘plot’? I actually meant...

Omar Jamil July 20, 2010

While the plot of Knight and Day is essentially irrelevant to the movie as a whole (did I say ‘plot’? I actually meant lack thereof), for those who are interested here’s a really quick recap. Tom Cruise’s Roy is an agent gone (supposedly) rogue. He encounters Cameron Diaz’s June (thus reuniting on-screen for the first time since the contentious Vanilla Sky) on a flight from Wichita to Boston, on which, with the exception of Roy and June, the entire contingent of passengers and crew are agents sent to kill Roy.

We subsequently discover that Roy has been double-crossed by his former partner John Fitzgerald (played with deadpan genius by Peter Sarsgaard). Roy and Fitz were protecting a super genius kid who has created the world’s first eternal source of energy “since the Sun” (as Roy so eloquently puts it). Enough power to run a small city or a large submarine (yes, I too slipped up a tad on that rather unconventional comparison) — all housed within the body of a single AA battery.

The film sees Roy and June’s various escapades through Europe. Yes, Europe… how did they get there and why is anyone’s guess — a plotpoint conveniently covered by Roy’s drugging June (and by extension us the audience as well). We are also thrown the oh-so-unexpected ‘curveball’ where Roy’s innocence is questioned by June (and, I guess we are supposed to assume, the audience as well).

Alright then; I think we’ve established that Knight and Day ain’t winning the Best Screenplay Oscar any time soon. Perhaps the dismal script was saved by the stellar acting skills of the super star cast? Sadly not. In fact (as has been noted by another reviewer), it seems the director realised the script was irredeemable and decided instead to capitalise on star power by focusing on really close close-ups of Cruise’s pearly whites and Diaz’s baby blues (and I mean REALLY close close-ups — if I were to put a number to it, I would guess that easily half of the film is spent with either Cruise or Diaz’s entire face covering two thirds of the screen).

And yet, despite the abysmal script and less-than-par acting, Knight and Day is eminently entertaining (one might even venture to say it is entertaining precisely because it is so bad). It’s like a bad Bollywood movie on steroids… I for one found myself in literal fits of laughter for almost the entire duration of the film (notwithstanding the five minutes I slipped out to replenish my popcorn supply — another advantage of the film — you can watch the entire movie without engaging a single brain cell and therefore slip out to the loo or to get food or something without fear of missing something).

To sum up, Knight and Day is utter codswallop but thoroughly entertaining codswallop. I wouldn’t advise watching it on DVD,
for without spectacle it is nothing, but as nothing goes, it’s not
so bad.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2010.


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