The Cold Light of Day (2012) – Review

1 Star


Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) joins his family for a sailing vacation in Spain. After his brother’s girlfriend suffers a minor head injury, Will decides to go into town for some medicine. Upon returning to the cove he finds that the boat, along with his family is missing. After searching the coastline he comes across it, but there’s no sign of his parents, brother or his brother’s girlfriend on board. Will’s next move is to go to the police, who unfortunately sell Will upstream as they hand him over the man who took his family. But Will escapes, only to be caught again, and this time saved by his father, Martin (Bruce Willis). Martin explains his true past to Will, he doesn’t just work for the government, he’s a CIA agent. They meet up with Carrack (Sigourney Weaver), a contact of Martin’s, for help, but it appears that in the world of the CIA not everyone is as they seem. Can Will save his family from the clutches of even spies in The Cold Light of Day?

There’s is nothing good about this film. It starts off with an incredibly boring ten minute setup with this family on a sail boat, Will losing his company and other minor things such as Martin keeping a watchful eye on a speed boat that comes too close to them (as if he knows that they are in some sort of danger). Then the family disappears and the movie goes even further downhill from there. The action is comical, Cavill is no leading man and Willis is hardly present in the few scenes he’s in. Henry Cavill is so unbelievable as an action star; he has zero screen presence. Part of this might be the character of Will, who is simply incapable of doing anything, and a whinny little wuss to boot.

Bruce Willis doesn’t seem to care about what’s happening at any moment, he’s here to clearly pick up a few bucks for the job, and that’s all. For some reason the director seems to think that Cavill is already Superman, the things they have this guy go through and survive is a complete joke. To create a character that has no will power or charisma and then pair that with incredible physical durability seems silly.

The Cold Light of Day is possibly the worst espionage film ever made. It never gives us a solid character to stand behind. There’s also little urgency to save Will’s family, as the script is more engaged in a Mr Magoo trek across Spain as Will tries to grasp simplistic plot twists. Luck is clearly on Will Shaw’s side, but it’s not on the viewer’s as The Cold Light of Day is a horrible boring action film that will leave audiences wondering how it ever got made. Check out Cellular for a far funner and better made kidnapping action flick.

Director: Mabrouk El Mechri
Stars: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver

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