Reel Action: The Cold Light of Day (2012), starring Henry Cavillmand Bruce Willis

The Cold Light of Day (2012)
Rating: 1.5 out of 4

Tagline: Time is running out. Instinct is his greatest weapon.

Directed by:Mabrouk El Mechri

Starring:Henry Cavill, Sigourney Weaver, and Bruce Willis

THE PLAN: A guy travels to Spain for a little family retreat on the seas, but when his family is kidnapped and his dad turns out to be CIA, things get…complicated, and a little boring.

THE KILL: You know, The Cold Light of Day is one of those movies that’s not too shabby at first. It has Bruce Willis, the new Superman, and Sigourney Weaver. It is set in Spain with buckets of mystery, evil CIA folks, car chases, foot chases, scooter chases, pistols, machine guns, knives, stun guns, and good old fashion knuckle sandwiches.

Sounds like the making of an action extravaganza, right? Perhaps Willis’ next franchise? Perhaps a showcase for why Henry Cavill deserves to be either the next action hero or the next Brandon Routh? (Sorry, Mr. Routh. You seem like a nice dude.) Or perhaps its chance for Weaver to prove she’s the most badass chick that ever lived once again?

Sounds dandy in theory, but honestly of the four choices listed about, only the bit about Weaver being a badass came true. Because she is. She can handle a gun and play a bad bitch like few others. Oh sure, others can play mean, but she looks the part, like she could beat down any fool she wanted to. Why not. She’s Ripley. Bow down.

Cavill could have used a cape.

Anyway, all other choices here fail, which is too bad because I wanted to dig this, but as the flick progresses -- slowly I might add -- it can’t find its legs. It can’t find a way to make things interesting as the clichés start pouring out and the pace grinds to a painful halt. The movie wants to be another Bourne movie, but the problem is Cavill’s character, Will, isn’t a hero. He’s some sort of stockbroker from the States. To have him placed in the action and take on CIA assassins doesn’t work. I know that’s a story that’s been done before, but I think that tried too hard to toughen up his character. They should have just made him a cop or security guard and it would have made more sense.

And if a movie wants to be the next action franchise, the action needs to be awesome. Give us something memorable or completely nuts or at the very least, something to make you say, oh shit. The problem with The Cold Light of Day is that the action, along with the story, stinks. Obviously, there’s worse action movies in existence, but this one wants to be deep, clouded in depths of mystery…but no one cares. It tries to use the old MacGuffin device with a suitcase filled with something, but again it’s been before and been done much, much better.

Another problem comes from Willis getting dead early on. Spoiler! (Sorry, it’s not like that’s a shocker really, because if Willis isn’t the star of a thing, then he’s not going to be in it much. It’s obvious within the first ten minutes.) I’m assuming the film was going for shocking early star death ala Executive Decision, but … eh. And sadly, Willis was the best thing about it as we watch him in action in one brief moment when he beats down a bunch of folks to save his son. Now Cavill does a good job with what he’s given. Dude seems like a good actor, and I can picture him in the Superman role, but hopefully he perfects his American accent because if he mumbles through that movie like he did this one, then we’re in for trouble.

I don't think Bourne would let a woman drive him on a scooter...

TOP ACTION: Well, everything is pretty basic here, but perhaps the rooftop sequence where Cavill jumps off with a cable tied to his waist. It’s no Die Hard, but its better than the scooter chase a few moments later.

TOP DEATH: Several folks get shot, but nothing overly stylish or memorable. Even Bruce just kinda falls down.

TOP DIALOGUE: Weaver mocks Cavill at the loss of his father, “Aw…is that your father’s gun?” Bitch.

HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: The movie could have used some.

FEMALE EXPLOITATION: A chick in a bikini at the beginning…and Weaver with a machine gun is sorta hot, if she was a little younger.

DRINKING GAME: You should just enjoy a few Bourbon and Cokes to make this a better movie.

TRIVIA: By the director who brought you JCVD…

Weaver asks, "How much did they pay you for how many days?"





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