Review: The Cold Light of Day

The Cold Light of Day, an action film that boasts the new Superman, Henry Cavill, Die Hard icon, Bruce Willis and the original female action star, Sigourney Weaver, should be the perfect form of high-octane fun, but sadly this is simply a waste talent and time. 

This generic tale follows bankrupt businessman, Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) on a Spanish yachting holiday with his family, however after a trip ashore he returns to find his family has been kidnapped. He soon discovers his fathers' secret intelligence background (not that it wasn't obvious to begin with) and becomes tangled in a web of betrayal and high-stakes treachery.

The Cold Light of Day is your typical supermarket bargain bin film, that would traditionally go to direct to video. The only reason that Mabrouk El Mechri's film is any exception is due to the star power of Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. That is all good and well, but one cannot help but feel tricked due to the lack of screen time this pair have, particularly Willis who appears for roughly 10-12 minutes.

Since these cinematic juggernauts were clearly away sunning themselves in Spain for most of the shoot, leading man duties fall to Henry Cavill. Cavill managed to impress in both Immortals and prior to that in Showtime's The Tudors, but The Cold Light Of Day gives him very little opportunity to show off any real talent. The role of Will Shaw is so badly written and generic that Cavill simply blends into the scenery and struggles to carry the film.

Damn it Sigourney, why you so cool?
It is not simply the characters that are badly written, the script features dialogue that feels like it has been written by a 13 year old boy. It's just hard to believe a respectable businessman would storm into a police station yelling "They trashed my fucking boat!". Although, it's difficult not to smirk when you hear Sigourney Weaver's foul-mouthed businesswoman refer to him as a “fucking amateur”. I wonder if she thought the same about the film?

One would hope there would be some solid action sequences despite these scripting issues, but once again we are left disappointed. Most feel generic and poorly choreographed, whereas others are simply laughable - cue Cavill wrapping himself in satellite wiring and jumping off a rooftop. Other unintentionally hilarious moments include nightclub dancers removing a bullet from Shaw within seconds. Even basic problems like a lack of continuity between night and day arise, with some scenes becoming dark or light with no indication of any significant amount of time passing.

The only reason I would recommend The Cold Light of Day to anyone would be for Sigourney Weaver's enjoyably hammy performance. Seeing her power-suited, brandishing a pistol and driving large cars at ridiculous speeds is somewhat fun.

Had The Cold Light of Day been a direct to video release, I would have been far kinder but a wide cinema release sets up certain viewer expectations and El Mechri's film meets none of them. If you are desperate to see Sigourney Weaver be bad-ass for ten minutes, pick it up. Otherwise you never need to see this film.

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