Australian Council on Children and the Media

Knight and Day

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Not suitable under 13, PG to 15 (Violence, Coarse language, Drug use)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Knight and Day
  • a review of Knight and Day completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 July 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, coarse language and drug use.
Children aged 13-15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, coarse language and drug use.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Knight and Day
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence, infrequent coarse language and drug references
Length 109 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is walking through Wichita Airport about to board a plane home to Boston when she accidentally bumps into a complete stranger, CIA super-agent Roy Miller (Tom Cruise). A short time later both are on the same almost empty plane headed for Boston. While June is in the plane’s toilet Roy fights and kills the crew and passengers, who happen to be FBI agents intent on killing him. Roy manages to crash land the plane in a corn field but explains to June that as a result of her entanglement with him, she is also now in danger.

After June is seized by FBI agents and rescued by Roy, he tells her about his current predicament.  Apparently Roy was guarding a young wiz kid called Simon Feck (Paul Dano), who invented a Duracell like battery capable of powering a small city forever. Roy discovered that an FBI agent called Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaad) was going to kill Simon, steal the battery and sell it to a ruthless arms dealer called Antonio (Jordi Molla). Before Roy could expose him, Fitzgerald framed Roy as a rogue agent, forcing him to take the battery, hide Simon in a safe-house and flee from the FBI.

Much of the film from here on revolves around Roy, June and Simon travelling from one continent to another in their attempt to outrun both the FBI and Antonio.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Secret agents; arms dealers; drugs

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Knight and Day contains over the top comedy action violence from start to finish Examples include:

  • While on a plane, Roy single-handedly kills all the Government agents on the plane, including one woman. During the killing spree we see Roy breaking arms and necks, bashing heads into overhead lockers, punching men in the face and head, shooting several people, stabbing a man in the chest, smash a woman’s head into the head of another man, bash a man in the face with a pair of fighting sticks and strangle a man with an oxygen hose. Later we see a bloody gash in the side of Roy’s torso; the result of a bullet wound.
  • Roy handcuffs himself to June grabs her throat in a strangle hold and threatens to kill himself and then June. He kicks a waiter in the chest and shoots a man in the leg - we see a small bloody bullet wound
  • Commandoes fire a hailstorm of machinegun bullets at Roy and June. The commandoes throw grenades that explode in flames. Roy, holding two machineguns at once, shoots  countless commandoes with sparks flying in all directions: no blood and gore is depicted. June fires a machinegun in an out of control manner, nearly killing Roy. At the end of the attack the commandoes are dead while Roy and June are uninjured.     
  • June wakes up in a room and finds Roy with his hands bound swinging upside down from the ceiling , the inference being that Roy is being tortured.
  • June attempts to punch Roy in the face and Roy grabs her fist and tells her to hit him again and that this time he won’t stop her. June tries to hit and kick Roy and they end up rolling around on the ground.
  • Roy applies a pincer hold on June’s neck and she falls unconscious.
  • An assassin ruthlessly stabs an innocent man in the back and then attacks June. He holds her head over a deep fryer full of boiling oil while threatening her. Roy enters the fight and bashes the assassin across the face with a metal serving tray and throws him against a bench. A large cook’s knife flies through the air, impaling the assassin in the chest. He slowly pulls the blood covered knife out of his chest then attempts to attack June again. Roy pushes the assassin out of a train window and he is hit by another train.
  • Masked commandoes crash through the window of Junes’ hotel room setting off several smoke grenades. The commandoes chase Roy across numerous rooftops with Roy jumping from roof to roof. The Commandoes shoot Roy and we see him fall from a rooftop into a river. June is told that Roy is dead. We later learn that Roy is uninjured.
  • Driving in a car, Fitzgerald shoots another government agent sitting next to him in the head without warning.  
  • Antonio holds a gun to June’s head and tells her that if she doesn’t tell him what he wants he will kill her.
  • A group of armed men leading June through a garden are strangled by a whip and wrenched up into the air one by one. Roy grabs the one remaining man, breaking his hand and then slamming the man’s face into a wall.
  • We see Fitzgerald holding a smoking battery while aboard a flying plane, we see the battery catch on fire and see the plane explode in flames. 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group are likely to be very scared by the scenes described above.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by many of the scenes in this film.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by many of the scenes in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Some children in this age group could be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Visa/Master card
  • Burger King
  • Various makes of car
  • Nikon camera 

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • June wakes up (after being drugged) wearing a bikini, she asks Roy how she got into a bikini. Roy tells her that he dressed her in the bikini, but that he was capable of getting her in and out of clothes without looking, but then implies that he may have looked. At the end of the film, Roy wakes up (after being drugged) wearing shorts and asks June how he got into the shorts, to which June replies, “I think I can get you into shorts without looking”, but then implies that she may have looked.  
  • While under the influence of “feel good” drugs, June tells Roy “I think I feel like having sex”, and say that she thinks it would be great.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • June passionately kisses Roy twice on the lips; although she had only met him minutes before.   
  • June wears a very small bikini that exposes cleavage and buttocks 
  • In one scene June and Roy end up rolling around on a beach (June in a bikini and Roy in shorts) with Roy lying on top of June.
  • Roy walks through a hail of machinegun fire and kisses June passionately on the lips.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A couple of scenes depict people drinking wine.
  • Roy gives knockout drugs to June on three occasions and June gives Roy knockout drugs on one occasion.
  • A man injects June in her arm with a drug she is told is a truth drug. After the drug takes effect June acts in a very care free manner, laughing and heedless of any danger. She also announces that she feels like having sex.
  • June and Roy drink tequila while on a plane.

Coarse language

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

A couple of scenes depict people drinking wine.

Roy gives knockout drugs to June on three occasions and June gives Roy knockout drugs on one occasion.

A man injects June in her arm with a drug she is told is a truth drug. After the drug takes effect June acts in a very care free manner, laughing and heedless of any danger. She also announces that she feels like having sex.

June and Roy drink tequila while on a plane.

In a nutshell

Knight and Day is a comedy action film suited to an older adolescent and adult audience. While the plot is crazy, the film is fun and entertaining to watch and has some quick and clever humour along with non-stop action. However, the film does have a very high body count with few real life consequences, and some blood and gore.

The main message from this movie is to live your dreams today rather than putting them off for “someday” as “someday” is code for “never”.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Selflessness: Roy puts his life in the line time and again to protect and save those he sees as being innocent.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Parents may wish to discuss the paradox surrounding the film’s hero Roy. While Roy is bent on protecting the innocent, he shoots countless numbers of government agents who mistakenly see him as a rogue agent and are only doing their job.

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