The Cold Light of Day – Review


Direct to video bad

Is it a compliment or an insult to be comparable to Abduction in both quality and style? If you liked the Taylor Lautner headlined action thriller that came and went quickly from theatres a year ago, and wanted to see what that film would be like if the main character was older, then The Cold Light of Day is for you. For everyone but the 12 people or so who enjoyed that film this Henry Cavill headlined film isn’t for you.

It has a fairly simple premise. Will Shaw (Cavill) is off to Spain to spend a week with his family and his government employee father (Bruce Willis) on their house boat. When everyone disappears, and his father winds up revealing himself as a CIA agent, Will winds up in the middle of a conspiracy to recover a MacGuffin and save his family. Along the way the former corporate type reveals that he may have inherited his father’s skill set as well. And for all the setup one thing stands out most.

How on Earth did this get into theatres?

Everything about this film reeks of direct to video dreck, from its shoddy acting and shoddy story-telling, so it’s kind of shocking a film of this low quality wound up in theatres. The film’s biggest star is Bruce Willis, who has slightly more than a cameo in it, as Cavill is called upon to carry a film he’s not talented enough to make better than DTV filth. Cavill has presence and charisma, as you can see why he’s the next Superman, but he’s just awful in this film. It’s not like he’s surrounded with talent in this film, either. Sigourney Weaver is the most talented person in the cast given significant screen time and her badness in this film makes Abduction look Oscar worthy in comparison.

The film’s awfulness even permeates to its visual style; Mabrouk El Mechri makes the film difficult to follow and has some bizarre editing and shooting choices throughout the film. When you’re making an action film there’s certain levels of cohesiveness it needs; the plot may be garbage but at a minimum you need to be able to follow it. Cold Light makes that somewhat difficult at times, as well.

Henry Cavill might wind up becoming a massive star next summer in Man of Steel, of course, but he’ll end 2012 having one of the worst films of the year in The Cold Light of Day on his resume.

Director: Mabrouk El Mechri
Writer: Scott Wiper, John Petro, Richard Price
Notable Cast: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver

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