Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: Knight and Day

On her way back to Boston for her sister's wedding, June Havens bumps into the charming and mysterious Roy Miller. During the flight, Roy kills everyone on board and he and June begin a worldwide cat and mouse game to protect an object known as the "zephyr"

Dear month of June, thank you for restoring my faith in the summer. Pretty much all of May and the first half of June were really lacking in the good movies department. But, Knight and Day really took me by surprise and ended up being my second favorite film of the summer so far.

This movie starts and doesn't let up for two hours. The middle has potential to get boring, but thanks to some smart editing, the story is resolved pretty quickly. Yes, it's big and dumb, but it knows it's big and dumb and you can really tell the actors are having a blast working together. Tom Cruise is absolutely hilarious in his role and makes things funnier the more serious he acts. This is a guy that was cut out for movies. He always turns in solid work and despite what you may think of his public persona, you just want to watch him when he's on screen.

This is James Mangold's first massive picture and he really holds his own. Especially when directing two superstars that could have easily walked all over him, but a lot of the director's style comes through in the film. This is something you'll notice if you've seen Walk The Line and 3:10 to Yuma. Mangold really has an eye for action, but seems to be not so confident in his ability to use practical effects, as most of the chase scenes are CGI heavy. But, he still keeps his indie sensibilities intact with casting actors like the always great Paul Dano and the usually great Peter Sarsgard. I really like Sarsgard, but here he is TERRIBLE as the villain. He wasn't allowed to use his British accent and his American one is truly cringeworthy. He switches from southern, to really bad House impression in the middle of sentences and has almost no enthusiasm for his role. Perhaps it's payback for Dick Van Dyke's accent in Mary Poppins.

All in all you're not going to find a better time at the movies right now. Knight and Day is one of the best action comedies I have seen in a long time and could be the start of a resurgence in Tom Cruise's career. Hopefully this gives James Mangold a shot at the big leagues too as he's been on my "director's to watch" list for quite sometime.

my rating: 8/10

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