Knight and Day

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tom cruise isn't ready for a comeback with knight and day

by armond white

tom cruise has gotten such a raw deal in the media that after the best films of his career (minority report, war of the worlds, lions for lambs) he deserves to rise back to the top. but knight and day-an unabashed action vehicle-won't take him there. director james mangold works with big stars but he doesn't know how to put action together; he knows nothing about trajectories or vectors. the poorly filmed action and fight scenes are loud and blurry.

yet cruise runs-a joke from his '90s heyday-and playing a can-do spy, he flirts with the equally flirty cameron diaz, who plays the civilian woman who cruise's spy protects from violent double-agents who are after a secret new energy source. too bad sydney pollack and robert towne aren't around to insist on characterization over personality. knight and day's script is less efficient than killers'; it's just upmarket-but with the worst opening 20 minutes so far this year.

there's no kinetic rhythm, no from paris with love energy or craft, no jonah hex wit-only a distorted, distended james bondish marathon chase. when cruise gives that risky business over-the-sunglasses look, his star wattage is re-energized. but he's run out of auteurs to do right by his charisma and resolve. cruise should look up neveldine-taylor.


knight and day

directed by james mangold

runtime: 110 min.

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