I generally dig the work of director James Mangold, but there was something bugging me, in back-of-the-mind, lingering fashion, about the impending Knight and Day, his summer action confection reuniting Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. And I finally figured it out. It’s the TV ads’ use of Muse‘s “Uprising.” Trailers that use really popular, of-the-moment music frequently (not always) have big tonal problems, and so the use of a surging chart hit or on-the-rise band, particularly in heavy rotation small screen advertising, is an empty signifier; it’s meant to prod and rouse and make the movie seem in thumping lockstep with the zeitgeist, when it’s frequently not, and sometimes the exact opposite. It’s a shortcut end-around figuring out a more effective and honest way to sell the narrative, in other words, a not infrequent sign of makers’ (or at least distributor’s) remorse. One wonders if Cruise (or Mangold, for that matter) even knows who Muse is.