Movie Review: The Cold Light of Day

Stars: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Echegui

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content, Running time 93 minutes, Action/Adventure/Thriller

Compare to: Unknown (2011), Abduction (2011)

Think of an idea that is something like a premise, but no one message to boil it down to, resulting in boring chases, terrible dialogue, no enjoyable characters. Got it? Now think of a title that, at no point makes its reasoning present, and add it in with said premise. Okay, you ready? I came up The Cold Light of Day, what did you get?

The problem with a movie like this, is that it seems like nobody wants to ever do them. They’re bland, forgettable, and boring. Then people do them anyway because certain A-list stars agree to the paycheck and it’s hoped that those same A-listers will lure audiences in and they can make their money. It’s the only reason I can see movies like this being made. It’s definitely not so anyone can put this title under their belt and proclaim “I am SO proud to have been apart of The Cold Light of Day.” I’m not foreseeing that in any future interviews.

Will is going on vacation to Spain, where he’s meeting up with his family. Will’s “small company” is going under, and he’s not happy to be vacationing to say the least, feeling as though he should be back home, straightening things out. Yet before he can make any plans to head back, his family’s boat is boarded and taken hostage. Will finds out his dad has actually been a CIA agent most of Will’s life and now their family is paying for it, the people responsible for the kidnapping wanting something Will’s dad took. With the help of a young woman, Will sets out to find out what the kidnappers want, rescue his family, and see the cold light of day.

I added that last line in there for effect, I really have no idea how it fits into this movie. I mean, I really tried to think of a response, but I was only getting brain farts. Possibly the rude awakening Will gets from realizing his dad is CIA? If it were a comfortable setting, Bruce Willis revealing his identity to the family under happy pretenses, I guess it would be a warm light. Yeah, let’s go with that. Still, it sucks. I don’t think a movie that’s this dumb should have a title you really have to think about to get it. They don’t really allude to it in any way. In no scene does Bruce Willis say anything like “Sorry you had to find out this way kid. Cold daylight hits you and messes you up.” Something like that, I don’t care anymore.

If you’ve ever wondered what it meant for an actor to “phone their performance in,” you’ll get a crash course of it in this movie. “Man, Bruce Willis doesn’t really seem like he’s into this role, does he? He’s got this vacant look in his eyes and this empty tone in his voice. It’s almost like he phoned it in.” He’s probably the biggest perpetrator of that in this movie although that could be because I expect the most from him. Sigourney Weaver seems content these days just showing up as the lady who secretly runs everything these days. I’m not going to give the examples of them in case you haven’t seen the films I’m talking about but I’m not spoiling anything here, FYI. She shows up pretty early and you know she’s bad from the start, mostly because she’s being way too cryptic in scenes with the main character and way too bold when she thinks he’s not there. So no real mystery on that end.

“Henry, put the gun down! Nobody reads those reviews anyway! Listen to reason!”

Henry Cavill, our main man just wasn’t cut out for this role. Not to say someone else would’ve done any better; the shoes are crappy no matter who’s wearing them. It’s just that he seems so intent on accurately portraying an American that it’s where all his focus went and he forgot the rest of the movie needed to be good too. Cavill, who’s maybe best known for playing Theseus in last year’s Immortals, which I liked despite any problems there were, is also playing Superman in next year’s The Man of Steel which I hope he does better in.

The character of Will doesn’t feel unlikable in this so much as he appears stupid. He never seems to get his act together and while that may sound like an asinine statement to make given the story, he doesn’t grow or change. He remains the same throughout. What would’ve been a nice transition is for Will to give a small speech about appreciating family, seeing as how he stomped around like a spoiled little kid for the first twenty minutes of the movie before his family is taken. “Woe is me, I have to hang out with my family in Spain. It’s awful.”

Something never really mentioned is how much of a jerk Will is. He will not get off of his phone when he’s with his family, at one point Bruce Willis having him steer the family boat. This isn’t some little fishing capsule either, it is a full sized boat. Will is paying so much attention to his phone, he lets the wheel spin to a ridiculous degree, ending in the bar beneath the sail swing at his little brother’s girlfriend’s head. It barely misses her but she slips and hits her head on something else. Bruce Willis throws Will’s cell phone in the water and they yell at each other. Will never tells this crash test dummy of a girlfriend “sorry.” He’s like thirty. So I take back what I said about him being unlikable, because I guess he is.

There’s more to make fun of, but I’ve reached my limit and I’m pretty sure anybody who’s read this far has gotten that this is a crappy movie.

Grade: D

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