Director James Mangold can make a serious film with extra twists for a grown-up audience. His credits include "Walk the Line," "3:10 to Yuma" and the offbeat thriller "Identity." In "Knight and Day" he adds a touch of Alfred Hitchcock and James Bond to his high-energy mix.
He combines action with romantic comedy for a modern version of classic films like "North by Northwest" or "Arabesque." Cary Grant and Gregory Peck play the cool characters at the center of those stories. Tom Cruise does a credible job playing a 21st century man of international intrigue. Cameron Diaz is the hot babe who stumbles into the hyperbolic plot and gets swept away on impossible adventures.
In a story like this, implausible developments are expected. Many strange turns and a nasty double-cross occur. High-speed chases and last-minute rescues abound. But there's also genuine humor and enough quiet time to provide welcome relief. The growing chemistry between Cruise and a maturing Diaz make it all very entertaining. This enterprise is a cut above the usual fare of this type. For fans of this genre, it's worth a summertime look and a big bag of popcorn.
Sleeper hit of the summer
"Cyrus" is a sly, quirky comedy that combines romance with a little creepiness. This improvised indie may just be this summer's surprise hit.
Ah but there's her son Cyrus – an eerily polite, overgrown mama's boy prone to panic attacks.
Jonah Hill ("Get Him to the Greek") is a pleasant surprise in Cyrus as a tightly wound man-child, the type people talk about on the 6 o'clock news as "he seemed like such a nice boy." Reilly is hilarious as a lovable loser who's not much more evolved than Cyrus.
'Grown Ups' gets thumbs down
As junior high pals reunited for one weekend, the guys try to revive their former box-office glory with buffoonish, grossout humor only they seem to find funny. The best bits were already seen in the trailer. Rock and the talented female cast — among them Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and Maria Bello — are sadly misused.
If only they'd had a hot tub time machine.
JOHN DEPKO is a Costa Mesa resident and a senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office.
SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a financial services company.