When we first watched the trailer for "Knight and Day," we wondered whether Tom Cruise was really acting, or instead just revisiting the loopy persona he's established over the last couple of years.
In the new film, out in June, Cruise plays Milner, a government agent who takes June (Cameron Diaz) out on a blind date. Soon, June discovers that Milner may have been hiding his true identity and she is pulled into his dangerous globe-trotting adventures. Meanwhile, a federal agent (Peter Sarsgaard) is trying to convince June that Milner is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and has recently suffered "a full-blown break from reality."
But Cruise's character here seems eerily similar to a certain persona he's employed in the past. At one point, right as Milner abducts June, he assertively tells the man sharing a dinner table with her, "Please, for your own safety, please stay in the booth." It's just the type of condescending tone of voice Cruise had during his now-infamous interview with the "Today" show's Matt Lauer, in which he told the host, "Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."
In fact, much of the trailer seems recycled. Diaz, as usual, is all too breathy and giggly and ditsy and wide-eyed to be taken seriously. Really, how many times now has she taken on the dumb-blond-who-becomes-savvy role?
Then there are the cliched action scenes we've seen a million times: the car chases that result in gun wielding, the death-defying escapes through curvy streets, the formerly innocent woman who quickly learns how to handle hardware like a pro. Plus, there's a fugitive odd couple who will defy the odds and probably end up together, a la "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," or "The Bourne Identity."
Interestingly enough, Cruise seems to be the best part of the film. Maybe that's because he does the crazy maniac so well. Will "Knight and Day" offer something new to audiences, or is this just more of the same tried-and-true action film formula? Vote with your fingers.
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in "Knight and Day." Credit: 20th Century Fox