Love and fun on the run
Barry C Chung
If aeroplanes, security checks and immigration aren't big enough travel nightmares, then Knight and Day is sure to give you a few more reasons to be jittery when travelling by air.
Aboard a plane in Wichita, Kansas, June Havens (Cameron Diaz) engages in innocent banter with her seat-mate, Roy Miller (Tom Cruise). Unfortunately for her, it just so happens that Miller is a mildly insane secret operative and Havens - who is in a now-or-never stage of her life - is about to fall for his dashingly handsome looks and duplicitous personality.
She couldn't have picked a worse time. A week earlier, Miller was one of the most skilled and trusted covert agents in the world. But now - despite trying to convince Havens he's the victim of a deadly conspiracy - he's gone rogue and is being hunted by federal agents.
The plane becomes a battleground, as agents attempt to kill him. After Miller 'contains the situation', Havens finds herself on a plane tumbling from the sky with Miller as the de-facto pilot, guiding the plane into an empty cornfield in the middle of the night.
Now fugitives, the couple find themselves on a globetrotting romantic journey, from Boston to Austria to Spain. With each and every new destination, they descend deeper into survival mode and discover nothing is what it seems to be. Along the way, the pair learn to break down personal trust issues and eventually find themselves in love.
Knight and Day may sound a little 007-ish, but director James Mongold insists that he went out of his way to avoid the movie becoming a Bond copycat.
'One of the things important to me, as a director who has done both dramatic and comedic films, was not to let Knight and Day become a James Bond movie,' he says, in the production notes of the film. 'We wanted to do something more fanciful, more like Charade or North by Northwest [a classic Alfred Hitchcock film]; a modern action picture with a light heart.'
As the film title not so subtly suggests, contrasts play a big role in the film. Miller and Havens fence with each other throughout - not surprising given what an unlikely pair they make. As such, their developing relationship seems so improbable that it actually charms the viewer once they find a connection with each other.
'You have these two wonderfully opposite characters - a woman who has always had a fantasy of going somewhere but has never let go enough to do it and a man who has been absolutely everywhere, but has never let himself know love. It's a collision of opposite desires from the moment they meet,' Mongold says.
'One of the fun questions the movie asks is: even if you are a spy capable of bringing down a plane or saving the world ... can you handle a relationship?'
Knight and Day opens June 24