Elevate Difference

Knight and Day

I’ve read almost universally bad reviews for Knight and Day, and I read most of them before I saw the movie. I don’t usually read reviews of a movie before I see it, because I don’t want my opinion to be tainted; in this case, they might’ve been, because I went into the movie with hyper-low expectations. That may have played a hand, because I actually really enjoyed the movie.

In the world of most critics, this admission will mean I’m a sell out and have no taste whatsoever, but I’m getting to the age where I don’t care anymore. I’m not a studio plant, and I don’t love everything, as I get accused of so often when I admit liking a movie that bombs. I like what I like, I hate what I hate, and I’ll tell you why for both.

For starters, Knight and Day did a lot of things very right, like the casting. We all think Tom Cruise is a little bit crazy in real life, and whether you believe any of the hype or not, that’s what his public image has become. But here’s the thing about actors: they’re acting. And their personal beliefs shouldn't be a factor. Here, Cruise plays a wacky, at times out of control, spy. By embracing some of the stereotypes he has come to represent he’s saying, “I’m in on the joke.” It’s the best move he could’ve possibly made, and I haven’t enjoyed him this much in many, many moons.

Cameron Diaz is also perfectly cast as the neurotic female lead. She’s become well known for her high-strung roles, and here she is frequently given the chance to use that squealing and panicking for laughs. She gets a better story arc, unlike some of her other perma-wackos, like her character in Being John Malkovich, for example. Amazing movie and she’s great in it, but she doesn’t get the chance to change much in that. Here, we’re treated to seeing her character learn how to literally roll with the punches and find some long-missing fulfillment in her adventure as she learns how to handle herself and even begins to feed off of the danger she is surrounded by. (The more discerning viewer will look for character symbolism involving the car she is working on in the film.)

One of the greatest complaints about Knight and Day is that there is a device used to take us from scene to scene wherein Cameron Diaz’s character is drugged, meaning we miss out on some of the action of how they get from point A to point B. As a feminist, it would’ve bothered me for its potential date rape allusions, but after the first time, Diaz’s character asks to be drugged, so that pretty much solved my problem of her having her free will taken away. There's also a conclusion to the whole drugging thing that will bring closure to any one that still finds it troublesome.

The best thing about Knight and Day for me was the escapism. Beautiful locations shot well with some great action pieces is the definition of a fun summer popcorn movie. I do believe I’ll have to catch this again in theaters. That’s how much I liked it. All I wanted was to have fun and this movie delivered, and then some. I say, go see it. Just let yourself go and relax and try to forget the actor's personal lives and all the critics telling you to hate it. If you do hate it, hate it for your own reasons, and not because someone told you to on a movie review site.

[Excerpted from Born for Geekdom(http://www.bornforgeekdom.com/2010/06/grown-ups-movie-review-from-feminist.html)

Written by: Audrey M. Brown, July 2nd 2010
Tags: action, fun

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