What do we do when opportunities come our way? Do we sit back and watch them pass us by, or do we seize the day and chase our dreams? It is easier to retreat into what we know than to take a leap into the unknown. If we wait too long, the opportunity is gone, and we drop back into our day-to-day routines. We figure that someday we'll get around to doing that thing we've always wanted to do. But 'someday' is a dangerous word, explains Roy Miller (Tom Cruise). "It's really just code for 'never'."
The Offer of a Lifetime
Knight and Day follows expert car mechanic June Havens (Cameron Diaz), and the adventurous trajectory her life takes after a series of seemingly random airport encounters with rogue spy Roy Miller. After an eventful plane ride – and plane crash – June wakes up safely in her own bed. But her adventure isn't over yet, and she soon finds herself in the company of the CIA and then on the run with Roy. A disagreement between Roy and his former partner Fitzgerald (Peter Sarsgaard) is the reason Roy now finds himself pursued by the government. The pair had been assigned to protect Simon Feck (Paul Dano), a scientist who had created a perpetual energy source called the Zephyr. But Roy believed that Fitzgerald was planning to sell the Zephyr battery and kill Simon, so he hid them both and went on the run. Fitzgerald insists that Roy had a break with reality, demonstrated by paranoia and a mistrust of his fellow agents. June doesn't know who to believe, but her instincts tell her to side with Roy.
In the aeroplane, before the events resulting in the crash, Roy and June discuss various dreams they have that have never materialized. Chances are each one of us has longed to do something but, because of a lack of money, a busy schedule or a fear of the unknown, we haven't made it happen. Sometimes opportunities for dreams to become reality suddenly show up, but more often than not we just need to get up and put our plan into action. June's ex-boyfriend, Rodney (Marc Blucas), realises that he doesn't want their dreams to fade into nothing because of his passivity, so he decides to make an effort to reconnect with her and begin pursuing their shared goals.
The Bible tells us that we have each been given different qualities and attributes, and that we ought to be willing to take risks in order to make good use of them. Jesus himself, at the end of one of his stories, told his disciples, "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what they have will be taken away." (Matthew 25:29) Even for those who don't believe the Bible, these words make practical sense. Using the talents we have may involve an element of risk, but if this enables us to make the most of them, then it will be worth it.
Later, when it seems all hope of further adventure is lost, June contrives, and puts into action, a plan to reunite with Roy, not once, but twice. Had she shrugged her shoulders and returned to her normal life, the adventure would have been over. But, knowing that she wasn't ready to let go of Roy, June took the initiative to ensure she wouldn't have to. Like June, we do not have to let life force us into a rut. We have the intelligence and skills to go places, but first we need to make ourselves get up. On those rare occasions when – as with the beginning of June's adventures – the opportunity drops into our laps, our response could have lasting effects. But it may be we need to respond quickly before the opportunity is lost, either permanently or until we make the effort to reclaim it.
The Bible explains that there is a particular opportunity that is offered to every single living person. It tells us that because we have all made mistakes and done wrong in our lives, we are separated from God, who abhors all evil. All the wrong we've done deserves punishment, and since none of us can fully pay for our mistakes in this life, he has offered his son Jesus in our place. He offers each of us the opportunity to accept Jesus's sacrifice as the only way to ensure that we can be with him for eternity. But the offer only lasts as long as we are alive on earth. Once we die it is too late to take him up on it.
Frequently people believe that they can live how they want and repent on their deathbed. But life is uncertain and we never know what the next moment might hold. This is especially true if we get involved with a rogue government agent, but even in everyday life, we can never be absolutely certain what will happen to us next. Something could come up that throws us completely off kilter. When she bumped into Roy at the airport, June had no idea he would change her life so drastically. On a more sombre note, rather than the next moment taking our lives in a completely unexpected direction, that same moment might be our last. God is not asking us to give up our fun for a life of boredom. None of the figures depicted in the Bible led boring lives, but rather, God used his followers to achieve amazing things that they couldn't have done without him.
On the aeroplane, June recognises that she is being presented with an opportunity. What she believes is the opportunity for a romantic fling with a handsome stranger turns out to be the adventure of a lifetime. Similarly, God is offering us more than the life we live. If we take him up on this offer, he will work with us to help us do more than we could ever hope to do alone. He just asks us to trust him and to follow his lead.
Film title: Knight and Day
Keywords: Adventure, apathy, risk, trust
Director: James Mangold
Screenplay: Patrick O'Neill
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (USA and UK)
Cinema Release Date: 23 June 2010 (USA); 6 August 2010 (UK)
Certificate: PG-13 (USA); 12A (UK) Contains moderate violence and one use of strong language
Related articles / study guides
- Culturewatch Podcast - Film Releases 30 July 2010
- Culturewatch Podcast - DVD Releases 13 December 2010
© 2011 Richard Blakely