Review: Cold Comes The Night
PLOT: Chloe is a motel owner who tries desperately to support her daughter during a financially tough time. Things get complicated when a nearly blind stranger forces her to help him on a search for stolen cash. The stakes are higher when her part-time married "partner" who is a full-time crooked cop may be involved.
One common complaint with movies lately is a bloated running time. This isn’t a problem with the new crime drama COLD COMES THE NIGHT. In fact, this barely 80 minute feature could have easily added a few extra minutes in order to be a tad more effective. The story of a struggling motel owner taken hostage by a nearly blind criminal is far-fetched and at times it is frustrating with the choices made. However, Alice Eve gives a terrific performance in the leading role creating a charismatically flawed and desperate woman.
Eve plays Chloe, the motel owner who is facing the very real possibility of losing her daughter Sophia (Ursula Parker). The two are living at the motel due to financial reasons and child services fears that the motel – with its heavy rotation of prostitutes and lowlifes – is not a fitting home for the young girl. Given two weeks to find a more suitable place to live, Chloe finds more trouble when a very dangerous and nearly blind criminal Topo (Bryan Cranston) shows us for a brief stay. When his “associate” is killed he comes to her insisting that she helps him find missing cash. Things get even more complicated when Chloe’s troubled police officer friend Billy (Logan Marshall-Green) gets involved.
The main problem with COLD COMES THE NIGHT is that the characters make very bad decisions all too often. As well, they somehow come out of the situations mostly unharmed. A number of times I questioned Chloe’s reasoning, yet in a way it makes sense due to the insinuating circumstances. As far as crime thrillers go the happenings here are incredibly simple and a little too safe. Even still director Tze Chun does a fine job at moving things along, even if you have to question the possibility of how it gets there. To say the happenings here are overly convenient for the parties involved would be an understatement.
Even with its faults, it is hard not to warm up to Alice Eve as Chloe. I’ve always appreciated the actress and that is especially true here. In fact, this is arguably her best performance to date. She is a vulnerable creature, yet one that will do anything to help her daughter. From her realization of how treacherous Topo is to how exactly she should protect herself from him is incredibly effective. However, as beautiful as the actress is they have made every effort to make her look like someone who works in a motel raising a daughter on her on. Who are they kidding, she still looks amazing.
While this may be Eve’s show, both Cranston and Marshall-Green are also quite good. As Topo, Cranston carries out his Slavic accent especially well and is eerily menacing when needed. Yet accent aside, it is Marshall-Green who gets to really steal a scene or two as the ethically challenged police officer. The actor is given a whole lot to chew on and he handles it like a pro. He digs deep into this powder-keg of a character to give a very intense performance. COLD COMES THE NIGHT is an enjoyable vehicle for all the on-screen talent involved. It may be too short and a little too convenient, yet it is ultimately a decent thriller that is worth checking out.