There’s very little setup or background for the characters of Knight and Day and the audience is left to interpret most of the characters’ pasts. It all begins with the chance meeting between Super Secret Agent Roy Miller (Cruise) and classic car enthusiast June Havens (Diaz) who meet early in the film at the small but somehow busy Wichita Airport in Kansas. Miller is an agent who’s on the run after taking out a number of fellow agents and escaped with a revolutionary piece of tech. He runs into the unsuspecting Havens various times while at the airport and later after they both board a plane curiously populated by a slew of agents sent to kill Miller and retrieve what Miller stole.
In typical super secret agent fashion, Miller makes short work of these merchants of death and then lands the plane in a cornfield (they are in Kansas after all).
The day after, Havens wakes up in her apartment feeling a bit like Dorothy back in Kansas wondering if she just got back from the Land of Oz only to find a serious of notes from Miller around her apartment.
Unsettled by this, Havens seeks out the counsel of her recently exed boyfriend who curiously takes her to a diner for pie. Miller shows up revealing to the unsuspecting Havens that she is in danger, takes off with her at gun point, and the action picks up again.
The rest of the film is made up of a series of action sequences stitched together by Director James Mangold and his team. Mangold, who practically re-envisioned the western with 3:10 to Yuma, knows how to make an action film. Yet in Knight and Day the action scenes are too fast, somewhat jerky and the stunts seem a bit unreal. In a world where even super secret spy Jason Bourne suffers several injuries during his movies, seeing a visibly older Cruise get by nearly unscathed through most of the film did nothing to make me buy that Agent Miller was not a super hero in disguise. Although, there are a number of antagonists in the film, they play their role with minimal notice and merely serve as plot devices.
Knight and Day works as an action film, something that Cruise has been very successful with. (i.e. the Mission Impossible franchise and Minority Report). Unfortunately there are too many super secret spy stories out there with more believable plots and stunts and this film gets lost in the mix. I found myself watching this movie and expecting it to have a climax, but it never came.
For those looking to just have a night of plot-less action and a few laughs, Knight and Day fits the bill. Otherwise, skip the theater and wait for the DVD.