Movie review: "Knight and Day" is dumb summer fun
Summer hype aside, when producers of this derivative blockbuster boast that their movie springs from an original spec script – not one based on a comic book franchise or recycled from an old TV series or retrofitted from a previous summer juggernaut – you might naively expect some smidgeon of originality.
But “Knight and Day,” scripted by first-timer Patrick O’Neill and co-written and directed by jack-of-all-trades James Mangold (“Girl, Interrupted,” “Walk the Line”), seems to exist solely to give Cruise a summer project in which to flash his toothy grin, trot out his frat-boy swagger and romp around cutely with Cameron Diaz. It is a cut-and-paste enterprise in which originality doesn’t figure into the equation.
While the producers allow that they were aiming for a sophisticated mixture of action, intrigue and worldly romantic comedy of the “Charade” kind, they seem to have modeled their movie on much more than just the 1963 Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant romp.
The story features Cruise as Roy Miller, a lethal, on-the-run spy, and Diaz as June Havens, an ordinary gal with a penchant for restoring vintage street rods. It plays around with a classic Hitchcock McGuffin – in this case a revolutionary perpetual energy battery capable of powering a nuclear submarine or a small city or a rabid army of Energizer bunnies.
Naturally, a sinister Spanish arms dealer (smug Jordi Molla) and a rogue FBI agent (a very bland Peter Sarsgaard) seek to obtain it for nefarious purposes. So Miller and June are thrown together in a globe-hopping adventure to safeguard the battery and its youthful inventor, bring the bad guys to justice, and, of course, fall in love.
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