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20th Century Fox | 2010 | 109 mins. | PG-13


On the face of it, Knight and Day should have been box office gold. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz starring in a comic caper/thriller sprinkled with romance. Unfortunately, director James Mangold manages to squander much of his star’s talents with erratic writing and a particularly ill-defined female lead. Given that the action scenes are top notch, it’s a shame that the film is ultimately bogged down by a weak a weak storyline and character development. In the end, it’s hard to feel any empathy for these characters as they cheat death and fight the bad guys; when you’re talking about an action film, that’s not a good sign.

Knight and DayCruise plays Roy Miller, an FBI agent who may or may not have gone rogue. He is being hunted by the CIA for his participation in the abduction of scientist/inventor Simon Feck (Paul Dano) and his highly prized invention the zephyr, an ultra-powerful battery with indefinite operational life. Car restorer June Havens (Cameron Diaz) finds herself traveling on a nearly empty flight with Roy. When June retreats to the lavatory, Roy dispatches with the rest of the passengers, including the pilots, which forces him to land the plane in a cornfield. After the crash, Roy warns June to stay clear of anyone offering to take her to a safe place. The next day, a group of men claiming to be FBI agents picks up June before Roy literally drops in to rescue her.

So begins the chase that leads our wacky duo on a trip that spans the globe, dodging assassins all the way. Will they survive? What is the Zephyr? Will Miller sell to the highest bidder? Is that really his name?  So many questions, so few answers. You’ll need to watch the movie to find out.

Cruise is still trying to ‘mug’ his way through films. While he still has that big toothy grin, now that he’s closing in on 50-years-old, it just doesn’t have the same appeal. Soon or later, Tom will have to dig a little deeper. It isn’t Cameron Diaz’s fault that her character is forced to act like a big goof throughout most of the film. The screenwriter didn’t give her a consistent point of view or even a modicum of common sense. Peter Sarsgaard plays a CIA agent whose loyalties are obviously compromised, but though Viola Davis’s CIA director seems to have a hard time seeing through his chicanery, it couldn’t be clearer to the audience from the beginning. Wouldn’t someone in her position have a clue?

Knight and Day entertains on a superficial level. However, the film doesn’t pretend to be anything more, so that’s okay. If an action packed thrill ride is all you want then this is the movie for you. There’s nothing wrong with Knight and Day, I  just felt it was unsatisfying as I have a thing against weak scripts and underdeveloped characters. You get the feeling that the movie was green lit on the strength of the names attached to it.

The film’s 2.40:1 Panavision aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in a 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Overall, the image quality is quite good with sharpness that reveals details in faces and clothing. Colors are nicely saturated and highlight the various locations. Flesh tones are appealing if occasionally a bit brown. There are occasional soft shots, but some may not notice them. Black levels are well captured.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack doesn’t deliver everything it could. While the mix is impressive at times, the track fails to give the viewer a sense of true immersion throughout.

We get the following special features:

Wilder Knights and Crazier Days (HD, 12 min.) – A making of featurette that has the cast and crew talk about how fun it was making the movie. Most of the featurette talks about all of the stunts in the movie, and how Cruise likes to do all his own stunts, and how Diaz is actually a great driver who is able to make all those 180 handbrake turns you see in the movie.

Boston Days and Spanish Knights (HD, 8 min.) – Covers all the locations where the movie was filmed.

Knight and “Someday” (HD, 9 min.) – A behind-the-scenes look at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes going to London to see The Black Eyed Peas perform “Someday,” which the original song heard at the end of the credits.

Viral Video: Soccer (HD, 1 min.) – A video of Cruise and Diaz playing soccer on set.

Viral Video: Kick (HD, 1 min.) – Another setup shot with Diaz practicing her kicks with Cruise.

Knight and Day: Story (HD, 3 min.) – A promo with a montage of clips from the movie interspersed with EPK interviews from the cast talking about the plot of the movie.

Knight and Day: Scope (HD, 3 min.) – Another promo for the movie with clips.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 min.) – The theatrical trailer is included.

The second disc in the set is a DVD copy of the movie.

The third disc in the set is a digital copy of the movie with enclosed instructions of installation on Mac and PC devices.



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