The Cold Light of Day Review
The Cold Light of Day, or “The CLOD” (I’ll let you decide) is a hamstrung, nearly farcical wannabe-thriller that proceeds to insult its viewers with tepid action, leaps in logic and at more than one instance plot developments that border on incomprehensible. The world of The Cold Light of Day is inhabited by incompetent police, moronic villains and an everyman who rises to Jason Bourne status so quickly he would have made the entire Treadstone training program a moot entity.
If you want one of the purest indicators of quality when it comes to this film, set your eyes on this: The Cold Light of Day is essentially a rip-off of 2011’s Abduction with Taylor Lautner. Who would want to do such a thing is beyond me, but perhaps everything going on here is so generic the pieces just fell into place. Both contain a spy whose hidden secret forces his son into a world of danger, a stolen piece of intelligence, a Middle Eastern terrorist seeking said information, Sigourney Weaver trying to earn the trust of the fleeing (yes she is in both of these movies) a long-lost family member and a title that has nothing to do with the events of the film.
The setup of “CLOD” (which is depressingly the best 15 minutes of the movie) is fairly simple with Henry Cavill's Will arriving in Madrid for a yearly sailing get-together with his brother and parents (his father is played by Bruce Willis). After Will returns to the boat after venturing into town for some supplies, he finds his entire family missing and the onus lands on him to return a mysterious stolen briefcase to Marcellus Wallace—I mean some pissed off Mossad agents.
By far the biggest slap in the face comes down to the screen time (or lack thereof) for Bruce Willis, who is featured prominently in all of the promotional material. It will be no spoiler to tell you Mr. McClane gets offed in the first 20 minutes after being on screen for all of 10. He has more substantive things to do in his The Expendables 2 cameo. Hell, he had more to do in his cameo in the first Expendables. It’s pretty clear Willis knew what dreck he was attaching himself to and wanted a quick paycheck with as little involvement as possible. Smart man.
Although Willis’ character (who by the way was a murdering, deceptive polygamist that we’re apparently supposed to sympathize with) may have escaped into the sweet release of death, the same can’t be said for the rest of us who then have to contend with the remaining inept 70 minutes. Although the villains at play here may have managed to remove the one individual who could have made The Cold Light of Day more bearable, they seem content on not letting another person perish (or so their aim and basic combat strategy would have me believe).
During at least five instances, the pursuing assassin (who looks like an anorexic Chad Kroeger of Nickelback) points his gun at Will and simply doesn’t fire even after he just shot a cop standing directly in front of him. At one point the antagonists remark “just let him go, we’ll find him later” as he runs visibly not 30 feet down an alley. Are you kidding me? The writers even go so far as to have Weaver's character mutter "lucky" after Will escapes for the umpeenth time. Excuse me highly-trained government assassin, but he doesn't have a horeshoe shoved up his ass — you just suck.
Guns are cocked in close-up numerous times even after an extended shootout has just occurred, a life-saving trip to a medical student acquaintance is comprised of vodka and a heated spoon and nobody bats an eye while rouge government agents shoot up Spain. Essentially, The Cold Light of Day is a slasher movie, except instead of dumb teenagers running from an inefficient masked maniac, it’s a dumb business consultant running from incompetent Sigourney Weaver in the most atrocious performance she has ever given.
I can’t blame rising star Henry Cavill too much for taking the opportunity to anchor an action movie (especially with the bigger names attached) and this effort really doesn’t shake my faith that he can handle the role of Superman next year in Man of Steel. In fact, if he can do as well as he did with the material at hand, I have more faith. What I can blame is every other facet of this cheap-looking, action-light mess of a movie which had me begging for the cold darkness of death.