Knight and Day (2010)

The True Power Source

Some things work in spite of themselves. Like the Agency depicted, this film is its own worst enemy, clumsily shooting itself at random opportunities. It should simply self-destruct. This is one of those films-by-frightened-committee that are rewritten and reshot in progress, so it has no central tone and it has unintegrated fantasies. The plot devices are borrowed from a bygone film legacy and neither honored nor improved. The two actors are among our worst when in this mode: their anchor gestures at being appealing.

The cinematic novelty is not there, at all. The locations… well, let’s just say that everything negative reviews are saying I agree with. But I loved it, because they did one thing well. This is a love story of a very special kind that Hollywood nurtures. There is no anchor for this outside of films, and yet it seems so natural and appealing that it seems the creator started with just this notion of romance.

Hollywood doesn’t support this by accident, or without effort. Someone knew that no matter what else fails in this film, the spine of this magical romance must be preserved. All else are merely tokens that provide an energetic context for an encounter between a man and a woman, initial reservation and then total, total commitment. Check this, it ends with them both cut off from the outside world, on the run in her (metaphorically loaded, powerful) vehicle, heading for the furthest destination known.

I know. Elsewhere these two actors and the type of character they play repels. But they fall close enough to the fantasy that we ignore them and watch the movie we invent in our inner eye.

Both of these actors are too old to play themselves. There is no acknowledgement that they are twice as old as the characters they play. But film characters are getting older because a key viewer demographic is. Diaz’ face has gone through some heavy work, we see. And the botox has destroyed the microexpressions that made her wide smile so rich. But still you can see the age in her face and rather than distract, it helps.

Posted in 2010

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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