REVIEW: “The Cold Light of Day” | – Keith & the Movies

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“Through a Glass Darkly”
“8 1/2”
Cold Light posterAbout a quarter of the way through “The Cold Light of Day” I was really wondering why everyone had been so hard on the film. I was already preparing for my defense of the movie and the ribbing I would be getting for it. But then things changed. Bruce Willis disappears, Henry Cavill takes center stage, and the bottom falls out. Now I usually don’t like to dwell too long on a movie’s bad points but sometimes you just can’t avoid it. Especially when the entire movie takes a nose dive right before your very eyes. Things definitely go bad here and the movie erases nearly every bit of promise it offers early on.
The idea of the movie is sound enough. Will Shaw (Cavill) arrives in Spain where he plans to spend the week with his vacationing family. We quickly learn that Will doesn’t have the best relationship with his father (Bruce Willis) and the tension between the two is evident. But Will doesn’t make things easy. He sulks and mopes and spends more time on his cell phone checking on his business in San Francisco. This self-centered immaturity pops up throughout the film. I mean even later, when Will is supposed to be ‘a new man’, his character reminds me of a 14-year old with some of the things he does.
The group takes a sailboat off the coast for a day, but Will and his father have a huge argument leading Will to swim into town to get supplies and cool off. When he gets back to the beach to he notices that the boat is gone. He walks the beaches searching until he finds it in a cove. Nobody is on board and it appears there was a struggle. Neither the police or American Embassy are willing to help and Will begins to find out some interesting things about his father. I don’t want to give away any of the few surprises (and I mean very few) this movie has so let’s just say he ends up with a host of people chasing him through Madrid while he tries to find a way to save his family.
One of the biggest problems with “The Cold Light of Day” is that things get so blasted silly. The film takes so many convenient, out of the blue turns and the characters do some of the most idiotic things. Sigourney Weaver, a talented and accomplished actress, enters the picture and you would think she would be a stabilizing force. Not so! Her character is as cheesy and corny as they come and I often found myself just shaking my head at her flailing attempts at tough guy dialogue. Her character’s angle as well as several other aspects of the story are completely predictable which cuts into any of the suspense the film was hoping for. And any type of plot that happens to catch you by surprise still feels totally contrived.
None of this is helped by Henry Cavill. If I may be unapologetically blunt for a moment, Cavill is absolutely awful here. Now to be fair it doesn’t help that he’s given such boneheaded dialogue. But his performance even sinks below that. Cavill is at his best when he’s sprinting through the streets, jumping over cars, and ducking for cover (and he does a ton of that). But once he’s asked to say a line or show some emotion, well lets just say I’m suddenly a little worried about the upcoming “Man of Steel” movie.
Now this movie features some good camera work and it’s shot in some gorgeous locations. I absolutely loved seeing the sights of Madrid as the movie moves from one part of the city to another. I enjoyed the first third of the film and thought it opened itself up nicely. It also moves at a good crisp pace and at 90 minutes it doesn’t drag things out longer than it should. But the pluses don’t absolve the movie of its clear transgressions and as it moves forward things completely fall apart. I remember when I first saw the trailer for this film. I thought it had a lot of potential. It did. Unfortunately the movie wastes practically all of it.
Bruce Willis is turning into Nicolas Cage without the awesome. Such a shame. Had anyone else been in the role, this may have been DECENT.
Really? See I didn’t this Willis was that bad. Forgettable for sure but not bad. Actually I thought when he left and the movie was put in Cavill and Weaver’s it went down hill really, really quick for me.
I always thought this had the look of a stinker, man. You have just confirmed it for me. One to avoid methinks. Cheers for the heads-up bro. Great review.
Thanks my friend. Stinker indeed! So many issues with it. Utterly forgettable flick.
I remember this appearing and disappearing very quickly in the cinemas and now I can see why. I’ll give this one a miss. Nice write up man.
“It’s a clankeeeeeeer”!
LOL. And I didn’t even like the first 1/4, when Willis was still in it. I thought Willis took a nap right through his part, I even called him one of the worst supporting actors of the year for this part 😀
It’s a terrible flick.
See I don’t even remember Willis being in it enough to count. I just thought it was a quick payday. For me it was Superman that blew chunks. I don’t remember how many face palms I did watching him!
Ahah, even though I LOVE Cavill and of course Willis + Weaver are awesome, I haven’t even got around to seeing this. Now, I don’t think Cavill’s lackluster performance is entirely his fault though, I mean an actor can only be as good as the material he’s given. I saw him in The Tudors and Immortals and he’s a capable leading man.
“…lets just say I’m suddenly a little worried about the upcoming “Man of Steel” movie” 😦 Don’t be Keith, I’m super hopeful it won’t be nothing like this movie in every shape or form!!
Don’t waste your time on this one Ruth. There’s really nothing here worth seeing.
It’s funny, I wrote this review several months ago. I’m just now getting it posted. I will say that I’m not as worried about Man of Steel as I was when I first wrote it. I too think its gonna be mighty good! Just a little over a week!
Well, I’d think Cavill is still worth seeing for me, ahah. But I figure if it’s on Netflix Streaming then I’ll see it, I wouldn’t want to pay for it, ahah. Hey, I’m glad you’ve turned around about Man of Steel 😀
Oh I’m sooo pumped for MoS!!! We will be vacationing next week but already have a family outing planned to see it on the Saturday when we return.
Can’t wait!!!!!!!
I’ll give this one a miss (at the cinema at least). Thanks for the review Keith.
Thanks for checking it out. Trust me, you’re not going to miss a thing! 🙂
I agree Keith, it’s a very average movie. I found Cavill strangely uncharismatic as well. Although judging by the trailers for Man of Steel, he looks to have turned that around.
Uncharismatic is a grey description of his performance. And I have to agree, he looks completely different in the Man of Steel ads! I’m anxious for that one.
I’m almost keen to see this just to see it fall apart, like you say. I have faith in Cavill (he’s the only good thing about Immortals, and I doubt a director like Snyder would cast a halfwit actor for Superman) but it sounds a lot like the script let everyone down here.
Nice review, Keith!!
Appreciate it. I think you’re right. The script is a mess. It’s just a shoddy movie from the start. But who know you may find something in there worthwhile!
ooh, shame about the movie. I may actually watch it, hopefully Cavill is shirtless there 🙂 Sigourney Weaver really deserves much better work than the stuff she was in lately offers her.
Good point about Weaver. As you Cavill, I think you do get your wish for a shirtless Man of Steel! 🙂
Never heard of it, I think I’ll keep it that way.
LOL! Well played!!!
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