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Ghost Canyon

'Knight and Day'
(Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2010 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: When a small-town girl named June (Diaz) meets a mysterious stranger, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But she soon discovers he's a fugitive super-spy, who thrusts her into a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase that spans the globe. As the bullets and sparks fly, June must decide if her "Knight" in shining armor is a dangerous traitor or the love of her life.

DVD Verdict: An amicable Roy Miller warns a guy: "For your own safety, stay in the booth." Hindsight dictates that all those who got in Roy Miller's way should've just stayed in their booths. A sexy Cameron Diaz and a slightly creepy Tom Cruise make KNIGHT AND DAY a grand, over-the-top spy adventure, and I sure liked it a hell of a lot better than its close cousin KILLERS.

Even at the age of 72, Tom Cruise can still kick it as a master secret agent. And, going by this DVD's Behind-the-Scenes featurette, Cruise did most of his own stunts. And if you factor in all the unbelievable things that his character gets up to in the film, that is an impressive reveal.

The story initially throws out just enough ambiguity concerning Cruise's character that you're not sure whether this guy's to be trusted or what. Roy Miller, cloaked in mystery, first latches onto June Havens (Diaz) in an airport, and there's a spark. June is flying out to her sister's wedding. She restores automobiles, which makes her infinitely sexy. We don't know why Roy is flying.

We do know the flight ends in body bags and a plane crash, preceded by a pretty damn nifty fight sequence in the plane. On a side note, if it's bugging anyone, that bit of tango music used to score the fight is Gotan Project's awesome "Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)." I love that tune, but it's getting so that everyone and his blue-haired granny is putting this song in their movie.

June survives the plane crash. Can she survive Roy Miller, who seems bent on shadowing her everywhere she went? Government agents show up to inform her that Roy a week ago was the most trusted covert agent in the Agency, that is, until Roy's full blown break with reality. Except that Roy, earlier on, had warned June that men would be coming to say exactly this kind of stuff.

So who's lying? Who's paranoid? Who's unstable? Can a romance blossom when colored by deception and incoming hails of gunfire? Waves of assassins come out of the woodwork, and they're also targeting June. You'd think this would add to Roy Miller's credibility.

A movie like this requires a McGuffin to send its characters frantically dashing around the globe, and so we learn of the Zephyr, which is this inexhaustible battery prototype that could theoretically power a city in perpetuity. Everyone wants this device. Roy Miller, delusional or not, gone rogue or not, possesses this device. What are Roy's intentions regarding the Zephyr? We're in the dark for some time.

Roy Miller is so impressive as a secret agent that he attains an aura of near comic book invincibility. There's never one moment in which you get the sense that Roy's bit off more than he can chew. KNIGHT AND DAY isn't meant to be gritty nor is it grounded in reality. It's straight-up summer popcorn, and I had a lot of fun watching it.

Cruise and Diaz are great together, Cameron Diaz as sweet as ever. But it's Cruise's slightly off-hinged performance that kept me engaged. Fast-paced. Quirkily romantic. Cloak & daggery. Big, explosive stunts. Big special effects. Exotic locations. You can tell where the money went. This movie isn't touchy-feely or socially relevant.

It won't challenge your brain. But it achieves what it sets out to do, which is to entertain. The two leads are pros at being appealing. There are sequences in which your jaw may even drop. I think you'll chuckle in spots. I'm still smiling at Cruise's frenzied "Life expectancy... with me... without me..." speech. And I did say this was better than KILLERS. The difference between the two is like, well ... KNIGHT AND DAY! [HB] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Wilder Knights and Crazier Days
Knight and "Someday": Featuring the Black Eyed Peas and Tom Cruise
Viral Video: Soccer
Viral Video: Kick