Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Jordi Mollà, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Falk Hentschel, Marc Blucas, Lennie Loftin, Maggie Grace, Rich Manley, Dale Dye, Celia Weston, Gal Gadot, Jack O'Connell
Written by: Patrick O'Neill
Directed by: James Mangold
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action violence throughout, and brief strong language
Running Time: 110
Date: 06/16/2010
IMDB

Knight and Day (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Ladies and Agents

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director James Mangold found his footing with his last outing, the brisk, well-told Western 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and he repeats the trick here with another genre movie, a romantic spy tale. He treats the material just right, with a cheerful, playful quality, focusing on humor and romance, the action and violence tucked neatly in the background. Indeed, the movie's high body count doesn't really hit very hard; there's a distinct lack of blood or gore, and very few consequences.

June Havens (Cameron Diaz) leads a normal life, loves restoring classic cars, and looks forward to going to her sister's wedding. In the airport, she bumps into the dashing Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) and winds up on a strange, near-empty flight with him. It turns out that he's a secret agent, and she has been mistaken for one too. Now he must take her through a myriad of complex chases and escapes, each involving a powerful new battery, and the young scientist (Paul Dano) who invented it. They must stay two steps ahead of FBI man Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard), and June must eventually decide which are the good guys and which are the bad guys. Will she ever reach safety again? More importantly, after meeting Roy, will she ever want to?

Mangold and writer Patrick O'Neill give the movie an interesting touch, focusing specifically on June's point of view and deliberately missing some of the big action moments as she hides out or sleeps; it's a nice touch and it celebrates imagination over spectacle. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz re-unite for the first time since Vanilla Sky (2001), though thankfully their relationship in this one is a great deal nicer. Coming out of career slumps, they both seem refreshed here; they're both at their charming best.

Fox has released a three-disc set, containing a Blu-Ray, a DVD, and a digital copy. Extras include several featurettes (including one in which Tom Cruise meets with the Black-Eyed Peas). Blu-Ray players with internet access can see more extras.

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