Tom Cruise plays to his strengths in this colorful spy fantasy Knight and Day (2010), bouncing through as an unfailingly polite boy scout of a covert agent with a smooth-talking charm and ninja spy skills, and Cameron Diaz is the beautiful civilian who gets tangled up in his latest mission.
Think of it as an old-fashioned romantic adventure transferred to an action thriller, like a spy-movie version of Romancing the Stone with a twist of Hitchcock’s “wrong man” theme and a boyishly enthusiastic agent who brings out the inner hero in the flabbergasted civilian. Cruise’s Miller is a rogue CIA operative on a mission of honor, but his quest to rid the agency of the rot of corruption comes with a pretty high body count. You just have to accept that every guy following orders to take him down is part of the same corrupt culture to roll with the moral imperative that justifies his actions.
It’s a Hollywood action lark, all momentum and spectacle and no mortal risk or moral confusion. While director James Mangold is no Hitchcock, he clearly understands that this globe-trotting, bullets-flying espionage conspiracy is pure fantasy and he embraces the outrageousness with a vengeance. So no, there’s no resonance or certainly no weight to the risks or relationships, but Cruise is perfectly cast and Diaz transforms from damsel in distress to partner in action with a confidence and glee that gives the fantasy its sparks. Too bad they never quite catch fire.
Peter Sarsgaard plays it straight as Cruise’s scheming nemesis and Paul Dano is a genius savant under Miller’s protection. Jordi Mollà, Marc Blucas, Maggie Grace, Viola Davis, and Dale Dye costar.
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Knight and Day [Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo+ Digital Copy]
Knight and Day [DVD]
Available in a single-disc DVD and a three-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack with featurettes and other supplements.