Who's In It: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, Marc Blucas, Maggie Grace, Jordi Molla
The Basics: There's one megabattery to rule them all. And it is imperiled. Everyone in the megabattery chasing community wants it and so they chase it. It must not fall into the hands of the wrong person, who may or may not be Tom Cruise or Peter Sarsgaard. The former is charismatic and possibly crazy; the latter is all business and seemingly one of the good guys. And that means you already know who the good guy actually is. Cameron Diaz is accidentally along for the ride as the ditzy lady who sometimes needs total protection but is also sometimes fully capable of odd technical skills unexpectedly developing instant ass-kicking abilities. And this is just the premise I'm giving you here. It gets even spazzier than that.
What's The Deal: Sometimes, when I'm out in the world among dumb people, I hear those dumb people say things like, "Why do you movie critics have to pick everything apart so much? Why can't you just be entertained and enjoy it?" It's what dumb people like to say and, you know, they can't help themselves from saying it. They aredumb after all. But then, sometimes, the dumb people start to sound weirdly logical. Every once in a while it's like they can hypnotize you into being dumb, too. So you sit through a movie like this where there are meaningless plotting devices and double crosses and truth serums and false identities and characters that make no sense and characters that make too much sense because they're just carbon copies of people in a million other movies and you think, "Oh, who cares. Give me another car chase. I don't mind if it's ripping off Paul Greengrass. Where are my Milk Duds?" That's kinda how I feel about this film. I'm just not feeling enough to really get worked up about what's wrong with it.
Grossest Thing About It That They Try To Sell As Cute: Tom Cruise drugs Cameron Diaz every time something is about to happen she isn't supposed to be involved in. For her own protection, etc. She wakes up in a new place. In new clothes. This would feel slightly less date-rapey if there weren't a romantic subplot taking place, but there is. They want each other from the get-go, so it's just kind of icky and... oh, wait, sorry, I almost forgot: JUST ENJOY IT.
Regarding Tom Cruise: I like that he seems to be choosing lighter characters, not so determined to be the valiant hero while simultaneously coming off as too serious and too vacant. The good news for him here is that he gets to have his cake and eat it too, as the hero who's also possibly (and comedically) bonkers. He's still really aggressive about it all, though. You can feel him working, always closing, reminding you that he was once effortlessly "Tom Cruise." This career isn't going to wane without a fight.
Worse Than: Charade, Ronin, North by Northwest, Wanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, any of the Bourne films and most of the Bond movies. But it's better than Killers. And Cocktail.