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Knight and Day

Posted on

Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise
Frank Masi

Knight and Day

Current Status:
In Season
110 minutes
Wide Release Date:
Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard
James Mangold

We gave it a C+

STARRING Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano
WRITTEN BY Patrick O’Neill
DIRECTED BY James Mangold

Cruise stars as Roy Miller, a highly trained secret agent protecting a scientist (Paul Dano) who’s invented an unlimited power supply, while also fighting off fellow spooks who think he’s gone off the reservation. Miller’s life gets even more complicated after a regular girl (Diaz) unwittingly plops herself in the middle of his world. ”Tom hasn’t really gotten to be funny [lately],” says Diaz, who last shared the screen with Cruise in 2001’s Vanilla Sky. ”We got to laugh a lot on this movie and blow s— up.” Amid all the derring-do, however, the film aims to show a softer side of Cruise that audiences haven’t seen since Jerry Maguire. ”I just felt like there was a Tom I missed in the movies,” says Mangold. ”The vulnerable side, the idea that six agents with Uzis might not make him blink but a girl needing to talk about whether he missed her is hard.”

Originally titled Wichita (for the Kansas city where the film’s action begins), the project was one of at least seven tentpole-like movies Cruise circled last year, but Mangold says he was always optimistic about his movie’s chances. ”In my totally selfish mind’s eye, I could not imagine he was going to make any other choice,” says the director, although once it was clear that the megastar was keen to join the film, the script did need some retrofitting. The meet-cute between the two leads, for example, moved from a date at a restaurant to an airliner that Cruise crash-lands in a cornfield. And the star himself thought up the stunt in which Diaz, riding on a motorcycle with him during a high-speed chase in Spain, employs a novel strategy to take out some bad guys behind them. ”I remember saying, ‘Look, I’ve got to flip Cameron around [onto my lap],”’ says Cruise. ”I’ve been wanting to do that in a movie.” Cruise also did some roof jumping in Austria and managed to get his shirt off in Jamaica — on the exact beach, by the way, where he shot the 1988 romance Cocktail. ”I had the same helicopter pilot who did the location scout for us,” he says. ”I was like, ‘Hey, so how ya been?”’