At some point I’m sure we’ve all wondered what it’d be like to get mixed up in one of the run-and-gun adventures we witness on the silver screen, but in reality, that kinda stuff just doesn’t happen, so it’s easy to just daydream and not really take it seriously. But what if it did happen? What if you were minding your own business, just flying back to Boston with some car parts you picked up for an old GTO you’re restoring, when out of the blue you bump into a stranger who seems ordinary enough, but in reality is a super-spy who is always four steps ahead, and needs your help, even if you aren’t aware of it. Sounds like the plot of one of those action flicks doesn’t it? Well that’s because it is; though, this time, seen from a different perspective.
Knight and Day is an action thriller filled with secret agents, conspiracies, cover-ups and daring heroics, all told from the perspective of June Havens (Cameron Diaz), an ordinary person who has no business being in a film with such situations. In typical action film, her character would be a walk-on part in this Mission: Impossible type film, swiftly serving her purpose before walking off, never to be heard from again allowing the audience to return to the lead character super-secret agent, and all his daring escapes and deliveries of justice; however, Knight and Day isn’t an ordinary action film.
Also starring in the film, as said super-secret agent Roy Miller, is Tom Cruise. After June gets involved in his mission, it’s up to Miller to keep her alive, and get her back to safety, while also trying to complete his task at hand. There are a great many scenarios where dramatic escapes could be used, or long planning sequences could be witnessed in order to show just what Miller is thinking, and just how he plans to do what he needs to do in order to get things done, but part of the brilliance of the film is that we’re not watching Miller’s story, we’re watching June’s, and because of that, we don’t see all the details and inner workings of Roy’s plans, we just see him do the impossible, regardless of how dire the situation may seem, and somehow, make it all look incredibly easy.
The chemistry between Cruise and Diaz is phenomenal, and their scenes together (which are a good portion of the film) are incredibly fun to watch. Diaz is a great choice to play June, as she’s striking in appearance, but also believable in the role she plays. Her comedic timing is as precise as ever, and she’s just enjoyable to watch on screen, and it’s these traits that help make the movie work.
Cruise is at the top of his game, and dare I say, gives one of his most charismatic performances to date. That may sound like incredibly strong praise, but the sheer fun that he’s having with the role is easily noticed by the audience, and in turn, makes it that much easier to have fun along with him. After seeing him in so many serious action films, watching Cruise poking fun at the genre that has helped make him a superstar is a welcome change; especially the way he makes Miller nonchalantly act like everything that’s happening to them is just another day at work.
At the same time, the remains solid and is almost always funny. Director James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) really hits all the right marks, and while the film hits a bit of a lull in the second act, it almost can’t be helped due to just how much entertainment is being packed in from all angles the rest of the time. There are explosions, car chases, shootouts and lots of crazy stunts (most of which Cruise actually did himself) all mixed with plenty of laughs, some of which are subtle in their delivery, but laugh out loud funny if you actually catch them.
Knight and Day is a film that action fans shouldn’t miss, simply due to the fun it has with the genre, and people looking for a fast, fun, action-packed film with a hint of romance, and lots of laughs should check out as well. In short, if you’re a fan of movies, Knight and Day is a breath of fresh air in a genre that can often seem stale.
The film looks fantastic with a Blu-ray transfer in Widescreen 2.40:1. The colours are sharp and vibrant, and the scenery looks fantastic in all the different wide shots in exotic locales used throughout the film. Definitely a great job done on the visual transfer, and the same has to be said about the audio. 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio brings the world to life, the explosions and shootouts to your living room, and the laughs right onto your lap. There’s no messing with the remote here, as the music and dialogue interchange beautifully, with no strain to try and figure out what people are saying at any point.
The three disc set comes with the film on Blu-ray, as well as a second disc, which contains a DVD version of the film, followed finally by a third disc that holds the Digital Copy of the film.
Wilder Knights and Crazier Days – This featurette is just over 12 minutes in length and shows interviews from the cast and crew, just talking about the film in general, what it’s like to work with one another, and lots of the different stunts that went into the film. They go into how they had to shut down various parts of the Boston freeway over the span of three weeks, as well as how Tom Cruise does most of his own stunts. One quite humorous piece is when Tom is talking about the scene where he’s outrunning bulls on a motorcycle with Cameron Diaz on back, of which they actually did themselves. It’s quite an interesting featurette, that fans should enjoy.
Boston Days and Spanish Knights – This featurette is about eight minutes in length, and talks about the different locations the film was shot in. They talk about how a lot of films fake location shoots, but this one actually went all over the world, which they believe added to the overall feel of the film. It’s a quick piece, yet once again quite fun and informative. Sometimes that’s all you’re looking for in a featurette, and that’s what’s given here.
Knight and “Someday” Featuring the Black Eyed Peas and Tom Cruise – This featurette is roughy nine and a half minutes in length, and talks about how Tom Cruise recruited the Black Eyed Peas to record the end credits theme song to the film. It shows Tom showing up at one of their shows, as well as them talking about where the inspiration for the song came from, closing out with the premiere of the song to an after party crowd.
Knight and Day Viral Videos – There are two quick viral videos, roughly one minute in length, with one called “Soccer” and the other called “Kick.” The soccer one just acts as though a camera man catches Cruise and Diaz playing with a soccer ball on set, doing some fun and crazy moves with it. It actually seems legit, as far as the moves they’re pulling off, though it’s doubtful the guy just started filming…either way, fun little piece. The second, “Kick” is without a doubt set up, but is one that I found myself rewinding a few times, and laughing out loud each time at just how goofy it was. Nice little additions here.
Knight and Day: Story – This is a three minute featurette that basically has the cast and crew talking about what the story to the film is in between clips of the film. It’s not really anything important, and if you’ve watched the previous futures, some of it seems a bit redundant.
Knight and Day: Scope – This one is about the same length as “Story” and it just has the cast and crew talking about the sheer scope of the film, and how it takes place all over. Again, they’re almost like quick summaries of the previous futures, so there’s no real need to watch these two pieces unless you want to see everything the film has to offer in terms of content.
There’s also the theatrical trailer, as well as a “How to” video for the Digital Copy of the film.
As the director states in the special features, Knight and Day is a type of film that just isn’t made that often anymore. It’s a movie that’s based on sheer entertainment, with movie stars at the top of their game, and exotic locations filled with intrigue and explosions. If you haven’t seen Knight and Day yet, do yourself a favour and check it out; and if you have, the good news is that the film’s charm holds up extremely well under repeat viewings, so be sure to add this one to your collection.
Fox Home Entertainment presents Knight and Day. Directed by: James Mangold. Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaar. Written by: Patrick O‘Neill. Running time: 109 minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray and DVD: November 30, 2010.
Tags: Cameron Diaz, comedy, James Mangold, Knight And Day, romance, spy, Tom Cruise