Saturday, July 3, 2010

Knight and Day

I have a general expectation of an inverse relationship between hype and quality. That is, the more a movie is promoted, the less good it will be. For the last couple of of months, I've been seeing all kinds of promotion for Knight and Day. I avoid commercials and don't watch entertainment news programs, so I don't see a lot of hype. For me to have seen promos for Knight and Day, there must have been a ton of them.

By all rights, or at least my expectations, this movie should have sucked.

It didn't.

Knight and Day is not a great movie, but it's a good one. It's actually kind of small - no saving the world or anything, just spycraft and car chases. It's really a good companion-piece for the recent Killers, as both have minimal plot and rely on the leads to provide chemistry. Knight and Day does that in spades, with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz chewing the scenery and essentially showing us why they are bankable movie stars.

At the beginning of the third half, I got the feeling that the film-makers were fatigued, as they hit the CGI shop pretty hard. Among other shortcuts, they had Cruise and Diaz running with CGI bulls in Seville. They even had obvious CGI cars in the car chases there, although I suppose rigging stunts in a historic town like Seville would have been prohibitive. Still, a computer generated car being gored by a computer generated bull while pursuing a computer generated motorcycle that ducks between two computer generated trains seems more like a video game than a movie.

Like I said, Knight and Day is a good but small movie, more of a romantic comedy than a thriller. One final note - I never figured out the title. The 'and' implies that Cruise and Diaz are the Knight and the Day, of course. He has a connection to Knight, which is fine, but I never saw anything to make her be the 'Day.'  There is a little dialog about not waiting for 'someday,' but that's not the same as 'Day' in my book.  Either I missed something in the movie, or they tacked a focus-group inspired title onto this little movie. Statistically approved hype, I guess.


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