Knight And Day is to cinema what Andre The Giant was to acting. Andre was impressive for his sheer scale, he had a certain goofy charm and you wouldn't want to get into a fight with him, because while he might have lacked finesse, he'd just keep pummelling you until you submitted, mopping up counter-attacks with his formidable mass. There's a similar dynamic at work between Knight And Day and its audience.
Tom Cruise plays Roy Miller, a secret agent gone rogue. The trailers made it look like he might actually be a dangerous lunatic, which would have been a genuinely thrilling direction for Cruise at this juncture. Sadly, he's the good guy, albeit a good guy on a dangerous mission, who sweeps innocent bystander June (Cameron Diaz) into a maelstrom of peril.
He hand-waves aside the fact that she's in danger every moment she's with him by claiming her life expectancy would now be even lower without him, although given June's facility for scampering into clouds of gun fire like a bullet-enamoured moth, this seems dubious. She even gets a 'silly woman can't fire a gun' moment when her machine gun goes out of control, just like rubbish Bond girl Jill St John in Diamonds Are Forever, although unlike Jill, the machine gun doesn't propel her off the side of a boat while wearing a purple bikini. June does get a bikini moment however, waking on a tropical beach in a little red number after passing out from one of numerous druggings administered by Roy - for her own safety, naturally. She questions the bikini, but Roy responds evasively that he's trained to assemble machine guns in the dark, and of course he can get her into a bikini without looking. He doesn't mention touching. How gallant.
This type of ickyness aside, there's some fun to be had in Knight And Day, in a throwback kind of way. It feels like somebody decided to recapture the golden days of Romancing The Stone, and Diaz and Cruise make reasonable 21st century equivalents of Katheleen Turner and Michael Douglas. It's all pretty old fashioned, but it's possible this will be a comfort to any cinemagoers in search of a traditional blockbuster amidst all the 3D, dreams within dreams within dreams and remakes/reboots/reimaginings.
In a nutshell: Cheesier than a Nacho convention, this is a Cruise missile charm offensive designed to seduce audiences into cinemas for forgettable spills, thrills and not an awful lot of thinking. Breezy, forgettable nonsense.
By Catherine Bray