Radio 06.25.10
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on a film opening this week at The Majestic Theater in Greenville :
            “Knight And Day” is one of those action movies with some heart, and some humor, even if a bit tongue in cheek.  Tom Cruise plays Roy Miller, who meets June Havens (Cameron Diaz) literally by bumping into her at the airport.  Then they bump into each other again at the gate.  It turns out that these were no chance encounters.  And Roy Miller is not who he appears to be, either.
            It seems that he’s a CIA agent, sent to protect a brilliant young scientist who had somehow developed a battery with unlimited energy.  Naturally, there are many people after the “zephyr”—and the nerdy scientist Simon Feck (Paul Dano).  We don’t even know who all the thugs are, but they keep appearing, and after a while we’re not even sure which one of the good guys to trust, either.
            Meanwhile, June begins to develop an aversion to a steady diet of lies if she cooperates, and drugs if she doesn’t.  But after a while she realizes that Roy Miller really is trying to protect her.  She was on her way to her sister’s wedding, you see (which in itself is sort of a meaningless pretext), and she just wants him to get her to the church on time.  This, while he’s busy dispatching bad guys and protecting the naïve and innocent Mr. Feck.  Peter Sarsgaard, as Fitzgerald, makes a believable good guy gone rogue:  charming enough to have credibility, but just smarmy enough around the edges to not surprise us with his sudden duplicity. 
            Yes, we mow down lots of faceless bad guys, but it’s mostly bloodless.  There’s the predictable hint of romance, but nothing tawdry, and much more that is unexpressed than acted upon.  They’re a believable couple on the screen, even if an unlikely Hollywood pairing.
            Yes, it’s a balancing act, alternating between adventure and comedy.  Too much silliness and we lose all believability;  too much grim violence and we’ve forgotten how to be lighthearted.  But with some sight gags, some repartee, and some old-fashioned star chemistry, this popcorn movie is enjoyable.  Sure, it’s superficial; but we’re not really looking to save the world or anything.  Just a safe passage home and riding off into the sunset in a vintage GTO would work just fine.
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93.5 KICK-FM