Review: Cold Comes the Night

You only need to look at the cover for Cold Comes the Night to realise that it is hoping to cash-in on Bryan Cranston's increased profile from Breaking Bad. We see a square-on shot of the actor (not unlike the cover art of the fourth series of the hit show) and of course a red box reminding us that the film stars 'Bryan Cranston from the hit TV series Breaking Bad'. Whilst the feature has absolutely nothing to do with the series, it is a somewhat enjoyable slice of B-Movie pulp that is understandably going to receive its best exposure now.

Cold Comes the Night stars Alice Eve as a Chloe a woman with a young daughter who operates a rundown motel on a desolate highway. The arrival of Topo (Cranston) a half-blind career criminal, sends the usually mundane events out of control when an accident leaves him unable to deliver a bag-load of cash to his unknown boss. He subsequently takes Chloe and her daughter hostage until his money is found.

Stepping into similar territory as the likes of Fargo - showcasing a crime gone wrong, Cold Comes the Night is a completely solid little thriller providing your expectations are not too high. To anyone that has seen a handful of crime thrillers the plot turns are evident from the get-go as this turns from hostage thriller to action thriller as Topo and Chloe move outside the motel.

There is a solid amount of tension - convincingly portrayed by Cranston and Eve, with Logan Marshall-Green adding a psychotic energy as a dodgy bad cop. The action scenes are completely serviceable - albeit a bit on the forgettable side featuring mob shoot-outs and the likes. Cold Comes the Night, however, is impressively shot by director Tze Chun and cinematographer Noah M. Rosenthal who shoot the film with a stark bleakness, showcased through the dark and misty weather and derelict motel set.

However, it is the performances that ensure that the proceedings are suitably engaging. Cranston delivers a thick Eastern-European drawl in his turn as Topo - a criminal who is slightly more than that description suggests (*plot twist klaxon*). The actor supplies a surprising amount of depth within his performance, as does Eve who manages to make the generic struggling single mother role somewhat- memorable and ultimately very human.

It's a punchy 80-something minutes that is not going to deliver big thrills or anything too exciting, but as a cheap thriller for an afternoon-off its fine. Nothing more than fine.

Rating: 3/5

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Alice Eve & Logan Marshall Green
Director: Tze Chun
Release: 17/02/14
Cert: 15 (UK)
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