Forget the cutesy play on words title, or the fact that Cameron Diaz – who hasn't made a decent action movie since the first 'Charlie's Angels' – is in it. Forget that Tom Cruise and his wacky ways may make your skin crawl in real-life, and just focus on how much fun this movie actually is.
When I first heard about Cruise and Diaz being in an action-packed spy thriller I immediately thought, "Looks like Fox is going for another cut-and-paste action movie, slapping two well-known stars on the face of it and hoping to cash in at the box office." I admit this is a cynical way of looking at movies, but I've been burned time after time ('Red' just for one example) with movies that were set up the same exact way 'Knight and Day' is. Studios bet on us getting lured to the theater with a couple of flashy names, and then end up giving us another generic movie that we've seen hundreds of times before. Fortunately, somehow, 'Knight and Day' dodges all of that with the charisma and bravado of Tom Cruise, coupled with witty writing and slick direction.
Roy Miller (Cruise) is a super spy. He knows how to fly planes, kill bad guys during hand-to-hand combat sequences, and yet he always finds time to smile and look at life with a rosy outlook. June Havens (Diaz) is an unsuspecting woman traveling to Boston. She restores old cars. Roy uses her bag to smuggle an item of great importance past security at an airport. After that one act, the two are inexorably linked throughout the rest of the film.
At first June has no idea Roy is a spy. He's simply another nice-looking, delightful man sitting next to her on the plane who has a way with words. That is until Roy has to kill everyone on the plane, because besides June, the rest of the passengers booked on the flight are there to make sure Roy doesn't land alive. This all takes place in a stunningly fun choreographed fight scene in the aisle of a cramped commuter jet. Thank heavens director James Mangold sees fit to hold the camera still, and eschews all that crazy shaky-cam that has become an unsightly plague on today's action movies.
From there we globe hop with Roy and June as they try to dodge bad guys and double agents at every turn. What sets 'Knight and Day' apart from the pack is that it blows and stabs its way through its plot with an ever so subtle tongue-in-cheek humor that only Tom Cruise can pull off. At one point during the movie June is drugged. We only get to see bits and snippets of what is happening as she wakes bleary eyed to see something happening only to doze off again. There's one moment she wakes up and we see Roy swinging, shirtless, upside down with his hands tied behind his back saying, "Don't worry June. We'll be out of here in a few minutes. I got this." Not many spies in the world of spy movies look like they love their job more than Roy Miller, and when it comes to making a hilarious, fast-paced action ride, don't worry, he's got this.
'Knight and Day' sports an AVC-encoded 1080p transfer that is just as slick as the movie itself.
Contrast may be slightly exaggerated, but that only adds to the allure and feel of the film. Colors really wow here, especially during the last sequence in Spain that features a car chase amidst a running of the bulls. The red bandanas worn by the running participants pop off the screen. Fine detail is deep and wonderful to look at. Take a look at the intricate tile and carved stone work in Antonio's Spanish palace. When he walks down the stairs he's surrounded by a variety of multi-colored pieces of tile that are all visible to the naked eye. It's truly astounding. Skintones, do seem slightly overblown, taking on a hot red-pink effect for much of the movie. There's a fine film grain that lends to the cinematic experience, while there is no source noise or digital anomalies to report.
As far as action movies on Blu-ray go, this is as bright and flashy as they come.
'Knight and Day' features a fully immersive 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio listening experience.
As with any action film, we should expect a lot from the audio presentation. We need to feel like we are in the middle of the action, that at any moment real bullets could start flying through our living rooms and we wouldn't know the difference. One of the very best scenes that will put your home theater through some strenuous paces is the car chase in Boston. The sequence is full of the crunching metal sounds of SUVs overturning, automatic gunfire, and vehicles whizzing by on the freeway. So many sounds, and yet they converge perfectly as the surrounds pick up the errant freeway sounds like revving engines and honking horns. Bullets whizz by as they ping-pong around the room. It's all very exciting. LFE booms out of the sub whenever a car flips end over end, or missiles strike the ground with explosive force. There are a few lines of dialogue spoken by Cruise in whispers that are hard to hear amid the action-filled commotion. Other than the infrequent hard-to-hear line of dialogue this is an exciting, fun-filled audio presentation that will keep you on your toes.
'Knight and Day' certainly is a surprise. Tom Cruise is one-of-a-kind and with his inherent charm he's able to make Roy Miller into one of the most loveable action heroes I've ever seen. This is a really fun movie, there's no other way to describe it. It's almost as if Cruise and Mangold are riffing on action movies of the past. Like they made this movie just to show that action heroes don't always have to be grizzled war veterans with humorless faces and inner daemons to battle. The video and audio will surely please anyone who picks this one up. Too bad the special features are a bland, thoughtless collection of pure promo pieces. Still, this one comes with a strong recommendation. Pick this up when you get a chance, you won't regret it.