Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ordinary ‘Knight’

Tom Cruise is cocky as hell and almost creepily smug as rogue Agent Roy Miller in the action flick-romantic comedy “Knight and Day,” which has average doses of rapid gunfire and cloying sexual tension. Co-star Cameron Diaz plays car connoisseur June Havens, who easily falls for the dashing mystery man, only to discover that he’s a dangerous guy, maybe even a trigger-happy maniac.

Between flying bullets, a crash-landing, and multiple vehicular collisions, an unlikely but expected friendship is formed. She’s attracted to the stranger who may or may not be crazy, but manages to get them out of impossible jams; he needs to keep her safe from heavily armed pursuers. And they’re many, from former agent allies to unrelenting goons. Roy has tricks up his sleeves, and consistently manages to evade enemies, with freaked-out (and sometimes unconscious) civilian in tow.

Cruise and Diaz don’t really come off as a believable on-screen couple; their intimacy is devoid of sparks and translatable excitement. They’re supposed to exude hotness, but they practically transmit an asexual vibe. Lack of romantic credibility aside, the pairing isn’t entirely a bad one. If anything, they look like they’re at ease with each other, and are having fun during other scenarios, perhaps the result of the actors previously working together in another film.

“Knight and Day” proceeds formulaically, its globe-spanning adventure only partly giving it a sense of immensity and immediacy. The mechanical action sequences are mostly bloodless, and the stunts aren’t exactly new. But, somehow, this average popcorn flick/rom-com doesn’t get truly boring, and it’s not difficult to stay with it till the end--although it does get corny from time to time, especially when one character repeats exactly what another previously said in a similar situation. Hate when that happens.

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