Knight and Day (2010)
This one is simple, the problem with this movie? Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.
It was miscast, just that simple. Tom Cruise came rolling in and changed the movie to suit his personal brand of craziness at the time. Cameron Diaz looks and acts like a washed-up party girl trying to play an innocent younger woman. Both seem to be relying on the audience being charmed by their dazzling charisma. For Cruise that would have been the 80’s and for Diaz that would have been the 90’s.
If you want to see the same story done better, go watch Red.
The first half of the movie was mostly fun but then it was just stupidly terrible. If Tom Cruise had been more suavely charmed by Diaz instead of acting like a psychotic Labrador then maybe he would have been a good fit for the fantasy spy man. Good body, dangerously exciting profession, witty repartee, deadly fighter won over by charming girl. It’s rom-com, it’s chick-lit, it’s everything you could hope for and then they ruin it. Cruise did his best to infect the script and film-making on top of non-acting his way through. To be honest, Cameron Diaz looks like a 38 year old girl with all that implies. This is not a poised and attractive woman. This is what the middle-aged women still frequenting the bars downtown look like. Her constant losses of consciousness and outfit changes come across less sexy and charmingly cute and more like we feel bad for Tom Cruise that he had to do it. I know there are plenty of guys (and girls) out there saying she really tried to inject some chemistry into the movie and maybe she did but when she wasn’t letting the movie down then it was the script and direction. The same people would point to her on the beach in a bikini and Cruise wading in showing off his abs. My counter-argument would be that you can see her scrawny ass on any tabloid cover and there’s just as much steamy context in the supermarket line as there would have been in the theater.
The movie is a spy movie. It’s like a counterespionage movie and a rom-com had a baby. It’s got a flimsy plot, falls apart towards the end, has a dumb predictable script, and yet brings some appeal with the brainless amoral action sequences.
Worst thing I could say: poor casting.
Best thing I could say: it had high-energy action sequences and omitting details of how exactly Tom Cruise accomplishes some feats was surprisingly effective.