|Tom Cruise says “I’m the guy” a lot in this scene from “Knight and Day.”|
Last year’s Knight and Day features thrilling car chases, ‘splosions, a top-to-bottom cast of talented people, and an intriguing twist on the usual spy-thriller premise. However, it’s lacking one thing that really hurts it: Human beings in the lead roles.
Seriously, can anyone identify with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz? They’re both complete and total Martians, with their big crazy eyes and unsettling, Joker-like grins. They also suffer from that painful affliction common to deluded movie stars and professional athletes: “I Think I’m Funny” Disease. Who can forget Diaz’s hellish “Aren’t I girly?” antics in The Sweetest Thing, or when Cruise overstayed his welcome in a fat suit for Tropic Thunder? Here, we get to see Cruise yuk it up as a supposedly “charming” super-spy that’s relaxed and good-natured and witty, 3 character traits that Tom Cruise has never, ever been.
Cruise always yuks it up the same: He repeats a line, then he repeats it again. Then again. For example, the “hilarious” line from the trailer. “With me?” (raises hand) “Without me.” (lowers hand) “With me?” (raises hand) “Without me.” (lowers hand) “With me?” (raises hand) “Without me.” (lowers hand), etc… It goes on like this. Unfortunately, at this point in his career, Cruise’s non-stop intensity is really unnerving. I no longer view him as human; at this point, he may as well be a Cylon.
Meanwhile, we’re supposed to be that Cameron Diaz is a schlumpy loser with no life, forced to trudge through life with a hot body, movie-star looks, and no dating prospects. I’ve been there, sister! The movie would have us believe that Tom Cruise’s suave, in-no-way-creepy attitude allows ugly-ass Cameron Diaz to stop being such an ugly skank. Movie Premise, you have failed.
In the meantime, there’s some espionage thing going on with something called a Zephyr. This whole plot involves Paul Dano and Peter Sarsgaard. Dear Reader, I swear to you, I watched this movie last night, and I forgot the point of their characters during the movie. I couldn’t tell you what their purpose was, but Dano had goofy-looking facial hair. That was his character trait, I guess.
It doesn’t help that Knight and Day was directed by James Mangold, who made the bland-but-okay-I-guess Walk The Line, which everyone liked but nobody remembers*, as well as the bland-but-okay-I-guess Copland, which everyone liked but nobody remembers, and also the bland-but-okay-I-guess 3:10 To Yuma, which everyone liked but nobody remembers. At the very least, he breaks out of his rut with Knight and Day, because I didn’t like it.
* No, you don’t remember it. You just like Johnny Cash. That’s why you thought it was good.