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Knight and Day

June is going home for her sister's wedding, toting a mess of car parts from a junkyard in Wichita, apparently the best place in the country for scrap parts. At the airport, she twice bumps into a mysterious fellow with dynamite bangs. Just when she feels she might be falling for him, she returns from the airplane lavatory to find he has killed everyone onboard. What follows is 110 minutes of your life siphoned painfully from you that you can never reclaim.

Knight and Day is the pinnacle of studio laziness: two pretty people forcefully crammed into an empty vessel in the hopes that their celebrity will dupe more than a few rubes into buying a ticket. This movie is lifeless; it has no pulse from beginning to end. I'm not naive. I know why movies like this exist and I know that I am not the target audience. But what really burns me about Knight and Day is that it fails to deliver on the one note on which movies like this typically bank: cheap romance.

The principal design of a film like this is to provide masturbatory fantasies for people who read gossip magazines. When you are making a film in that vein, the only requirement of you is to create chemistry and steaminess between your two leads. Knight and Day managed to fashion a film like that without spending a lick of effort to create sexual tension between the characters. At no point in the film did I feel like they had a relationship -- or that they were even interested in one another -- until I was explicitly told that it was true.

Most of the absence of heat between them is a product of two veteran movie stars who obviously could not care less about the film they are making. If you are a fan of either Tom Cruise or Cameron Diaz, I would highly suggest taking a trip to Madame Tussauds and staring at their wax likenesses because they will offer more skilled performances cast in wax than they did on screen. If Cruise's performance were any more phoned in, AT&T would've sponsored the film. To counterbalance that, Diaz is a complete doorknob. Her "fish out of water" routine more often than not devolves into completely inauthentic stupidity and emotionless non-reactions. And I'm sorry, Tom, but even you have to exert yourself just an iota to be charming.

The plot of the film isn't just generic, it's insultingly stupid. Take the actors out of the film -- hell, take away the fact that the film exists -- if you were to recount the plot points of Knight and Day to someone as if it were a story, that person would think you a moron. MacGuffins about batteries, characters identified by their naiveté suddenly becoming fully cognizant of complicated schemes, and being pretty serving as the only criterion for graduating to superspy all expected to be swallowed as fact.

At least it's an action film, so there are moments of sheer entertainment, right? Wrong! The action scenes are as bland and unsatisfying as the rest of the script and offer little more than sweet retreat from the idiocy of the plot and the inadequacy of its cast. Please do not waste your time, money or brain cells on this unmitigated garbage. If we collectively say no to movies like this, perhaps the next summer vehicle for pretty people will have the good decency to be mediocre. rated this film 1/2 star.