The Cold Light of Day
Director: Mabrouk El Mechri
Writer: Scott Wiper, John Petro
Cast: Henry Cavill, Verónica Echegui, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Joseph Mawle, Colm Meaney
Will (Henry Cavill) arrives in Spain to meet up with his family for a sailing trip, despite his company fighting for survival back home in the US. Understandably, Will is pretty tense, especially because he doesn’t get along that well with his dad Martin (Bruce Willis). But then Will’s family is kidnapped while he’s on a short trip to the shore, Martin turns out to be a CIA agent and Will suddenly finds himself hunted by agents, desperately trying to figure out how he can save them all and himself.
Oh boy. This movie is so incredibly dumb that I didn’t manage for even one second to suspend my disbelief. Seriously, they ruined it with the first scene. Horrible dialogue, wooden acting and bad pacing were just the icing on this cake of stupid.
Look. I knew going in that I wouldn’t get the movie of the century. Even though I enjoyed the hell out of JCVD, Mabrouk El Mechri’s last film, I knew that this film was something else entirely. What I wanted was good action, fun, Sigourney Weaver being awesome and Henry Cavill shirtless. Well, there is a scene where Henry Cavill takes off his shirt, but that’s about all that I got out of the film.
It starts with Will arriving at the airport in Madrid and asking the lady at immigration where his luggage is – and not only does she answer him that it’s still in San Francisco, she does so without looking anything up in the computer or telling him that she’s fucking immigration and he should check Lost and Found. That’s the first scene and that is so incredibly obtuse that they had already lost me there.
And they never managed to get me back as they kept on piling the unlikely on top of the dumb. [SPOILERS] Like when Martin gets clearly shot in his upper arm and immediately dies from it. Or when Will gets shot in the back and there’s an entry but no exit wound and no bullet to be found. They actually go looking for it – and there is none? Where did it disappear to? Did it just fall out of his wound? [/SPOILERS] There are many things like that. Things that in another film probably wouldn’t have been an issue (or would have been funny). But when you sit in a movie questioning every little thing about it, it just gets exhausting.
Henry Cavill is not the world’s greatest actor in the first place, but with those dialogues he was absolutely at his worst. But honestly I doubt that the best actors could have made much more of it. Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis both fail spectacularly as well. [I wonder about them, btw. Do they not have people who read the scripts for them? I mean, actually literate people? Don’t they do it themselves? If so, why the hell would they make this film?] And the only time Bruce Willis gets to use his action skills is one scene shot in the dark with shaky cam. Well, thanks for that.
In short, this film is a catastrophe. And not at all entertaining with it.
Summarising: Steer clear.