[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=5448&w=o[/img]Title: Knight and Day
Starring: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Patrick O'neill
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 109 Minutes
Release Date: November 30, 2010
June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is a classic car restorer trying to get through airport security on her way home to Boston with parts for her father's GTO. Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) is a rogue CIA spy capable of successfully accomplishing some of the most daring and mind blowing feats you'll ever see in an action film.
We begin the movie in an airport with Roy watching June from afar as she struggles with her carry-on bag full of heavy car parts. At the top of an escalator, Roy bumps into June knocking her bag to the floor. Not just an action hero, but also a gentleman, Roy helps her with her bag. We later find that Roy slipped a small metal device into June's bag. June is then questioned by airport security about all the metal car parts she's transporting. She has a believable answer for everything, so they allow her through security. On the other side of the security check, June bumps into the same flirtatious gentleman who again helps her with her bag, stealing back the mysterious piece he stowed away on her luggage in their first encounter. Of course, the two get in line for the same flight, but there's a problem with June's reservation. She's told the flight is overbooked so initially she's not allowed on the plane. June's trying to get home for her sister's wedding, so naturally she's very angry about the mix up and being told she must wait for the next flight on the following day. Moments later, however, she's told that the problem has been solved and she's now allowed on her flight. For whatever reason, June doesn't question the fact that the previously overbooked plane is only carrying six to eight other passengers including herself and Roy. It is from this point that Roy and June are joined at the hip for the remainder of the movie by the thinnest thread of a plot line. It is also at this point of the review that I must tell you to disregard any instinctual grasp you may have on reality.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=5450&w=o[/img]On the plane, June and Roy talk about their lifelong dreams. A connection is made, sparks fly and June runs off to the airplane restroom to powder her nose and gather up the courage to kiss the handsome stranger she's just met. During this short time, we discover all the other passengers on the plane to be CIA agents intent on taking down Roy and recovering the device he's smuggling. Your typical action sequence ensues where instead of all 6 agents ganging up on Roy at once, they each take turns getting killed one-by-one in the aisle of the airplane. During the scuffle, a silenced handgun emerges and inevitably stray bullets find the brain of the pilot. June emerges from the restroom to eventually find everyone dead and Roy in the cockpit of the plane conducting a miraculous crash landing in a corn field. Once away from the exploding wreckage, Roy realizes the CIA believes June must be working with him to allow her back on the flight. His concern for her safety leads him to instruct her on how to deal with the CIA's future questioning and attempts to kill her. Roy then drugs June and returns her to her home in Boston. (Drugging is a central theme in the film as anytime the duo finds themselves in a sticky situation, Roy will drug June and she'll awaken to find the situation magically resolved.)
As expected, June cannot possibly manage without Roy, so he returns at the first sign of danger to save her life. Driven solely by the "I got her into this mess, so I must do everything in my power to protect her" concept, Roy (later discovered to be Matthew Knight) truly becomes June's "Knight" in shining armor. Roy eventually informs June that the device he's protecting is a perpetual energy battery (slightly smaller than a C battery) that has the ability to power an entire city. Roy was originally paired with fellow CIA agent Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard), and both were assigned to protect the battery (codenamed: Zephyr) along with Simon Feck (Paul Dano), the inventor of the battery. Roy tries to convince June that Fitzgerald was in fact the one that went rogue trying to steal the battery to sell to a Spanish arms dealer named Antonio (Jordi Molla). However, due to Roy's erratic behavior throughout the movie along with information learned from other CIA agents, June questions whether Roy is to be trusted and questions whether she's been siding with the enemy all along.
The nonstop action takes Roy and June to locations all over the globe defending the Zephyr and its inventor. This happens while the story twists and turns keeping viewers wondering who's good and who's bad, only to end all too predictably. Acting on the parts of Cruise and Diaz is not bad, but I constantly found their characters less believable than those of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie cast similarly as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Action sequences are pretty good the first time around, but they can only carry a movie so far, and fortunately there are other movies like The Expendables that will fit the testosterone-saturated action bill much more nicely. I can see why some may find this simplistic, comedic action-romance as a breath of fresh air compared to heavy, thought-inducing mind benders like Inception, but personally, I found it to be not much more than a good excuse to pop some popcorn.
Rated PG-13 for violence and light sexual situations.
Knight and Day is presented with an MPEG 4 AVC codec in 1080p at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Action sequences are crisp and clarity is quite good presumably taking full advantage of displays with high refresh rates. For the most part, textures appear highly detailed. There are many instances where focus on foreground textures is quite astounding. Some of the more romantic scenes appear to soften the mood by making understandable use of a slight soft focus lens. However, this technique is not evident during Diaz's bikini scene where, in my opinion, details prove she might be getting a little long in the tooth to be showing that much skin. Film grain is tight and beneficial; and color is very saturated throughout. Blacks are nice and deep and contrast is exaggerated but acceptably so in an action film like this. Finally, I noticed no instances of edge enhancement, source noise or other anomalies cropping up. This is a very nice transfer overall.
The best attribute of Knight and Day is its immersive 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Bullets whiz past your head, broken glass crashes to the ground and explosions bring to life every speaker in your audio system. The car chase scene early in the movie is absolutely amazing as the surround sound fully envelops you in the middle of intense action. Deep LFEs give your sub a workout, simultaneously while the front soundstage presents crystal clear imaging that moves across your screen with the action. Probably the most impressive characteristics of the track are the ambient effects during the quieter sequences that help place you in the movie. Examples include the opening airport scene and the beginning of the warehouse scene where, inaudible to Diaz's character, you the viewer hear subtle clues of the swat team as they tactically close in on June and Roy. Overall, this is a very fun audio track to experience.
This may look like a lot, but there's really not too much to sink your teeth into here.
- Wilder Knights and Crazier Days
- Boston Days and Spanish Knights
- Knight and "Someday"
- Viral Video: Soccer
- Viral Video: Kick
- Knight and Day: Story
- Knight and Day: Scope
- Theatrical Trailer
- BD-Live Exclusive - Not Your Regular Spy
I heard widely varying opinions on Knight and Day before watching the film myself. Many people seem to enjoy the style and believe there's a market for movies like this where you "turn off your brain" and enjoy a slice of impracticality on a short vacation away from reality. I agree with this to a degree. I think my biggest problem with Knight and Day is the importance or the apparent lack of a need for Diaz's character. I understand that Roy has a conscience and feels a need to protect June, but like myself, throughout the movie you may find yourself wondering why he simply doesn't find a safe way to ditch June. Early on, you feel like June is romantically tied to Roy, but you don't believe that Roy feels the same way about her. He's only protecting June for the sake of his own conscience. Later when June questions Roy's intentions, there's seems to be a romantic disconnect that should separate the two. Of course, without each other, you wouldn't have much of a movie. The film looks and sounds great, but building the story-line on this fragile a concept is just not enough for me. Your mileage my vary. My recommendation is solidly to rent before you buy.
Your AV bookmarks are as follows:
Car chase scene in Boston- 25:00
Warehouse scene- 45:30
Motorcycle/bulls scene in Spain- 1:31:50