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Review: Knight and Day (2010)

by Aaron Vaccaro – Head Writer

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Best Bad Quote:

“Nobody move or I’ll kill myself and then her.”

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A more fitting title for the pathetically attempted tongue and cheek action movie, Knight and Day, may have been Rape Eyes.  The studio probably considered it but then felt people would be confused that it was a sequel to the 1998 Brian de Palma film, Snake Eyes and wouldn’t have been able to live with themselves drawing an unfair comparison between a piece of shit (Knight and Day) and a mediocre film (Snake Eyes).  However, I’m going to stick by my Rape Eyes title for the movie because Tom Cruise looks poised to snap and rape Cameron Diaz at any moment of the movie.  Cruise’s character, Roy Miller, is supposed to be a mystery to the audience, but that still doesn’t mean he needs to look so damn creepy.  That disturbing rapey smile does help things either.

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I went into Knight and Day with low expectations, and was not disappointed because my low expectations were met adequately.  Let’s start with the acting shall we?  Tom Cruise has his glimmers of goodness (Magnolia, Tropic Thunder) but for every decent performance we get a terrible one (War of the Worlds, Valkyrie).  Now, that being said, I don’t think Cruise is a terrible actor, I just thought he was terrible in this movie.  For one, he seems to be trying waaaaaaaaay too hard to look “young” and “hip.”  Take a cue from Harrison Ford and just roll with it, D-bag.  In Knight and Day, he’s just not convincing for one second of the movie.  Everything feels forced and phony, and immediately takes the viewer right out of it.  Then there’s Cameron Diaz, who really hasn’t ever delivered a good performance in her entire career.  Sure, she was cute in There’s Something About Mary and The Sweetest Thing but it was mainly the script and her co-stars that made her look good by proxy.  Sorry Cameron, no dynamic script to lean on in this one.  Diaz’s character, June Havens, is as dumb and one dimensional as they come.  Flat characters like these are what keep driving me away from studio movies and to independent films that know how to craft an interesting and multi-layered character.  Diaz is your typical naïve, dumb blonde that engages in a “bullet dancing” sequence that will make you cringe with embarrassment and horror.  The most atrocious part is that the writer tried to add a layer to Diaz’s character by making her a classic car enthusiast.  Yeah, I can totally picture Diaz as a grease monkey getting under the hood and fixing her transmission.

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From the opening action sequence which involves a plane filled with nothing but assassins (go figure) to elaborate car and motorcycle chases, Knight and Day is all flash and no substance.  There are multiple moments of the film that are downright laughable like when Cruise manages to crash land the airplane in a remote corn field and after a very “talkie” scene between him and Diaz, they walk away from the site as the plane explodes.  Yeah, we got that b-roll.  It was like the director, James Mangold, said “you know what?  This scene is too damn “talkie,” lets blow the plane up at the end.”

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Finally, as a writer, I would be doing myself a disservice if I did not mention how painfully, excruciatingly bad the script was.  The writing was beyond lazy, highlighted by the fact that the writer seems to back himself into corners in a variety of scenes and instead of trying to resolve the conflict he simply finds that it would just be easier to drug Cameron Diaz and have her wake up in some new and mysterious locale.  Why come up with an interesting transition when you can just drug Cameron Diaz?  If I had a nickel for every time I’d asked myself that question…Please Hollywood, I beg of you, stop making pieces of shit like Knight and Day.

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Rating:

1 out of 5 Diaz Vacant Expressions and Cruise Shit Eating Grins

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