Will (Henry Cavill) thinks things are bad when he arrives in Spain to find his luggage is still back in San Francisco and he’s just had a phone call telling him he’s officially bankrupt. However things quickly get worse when after meeting up with his family for a holiday, they get kidnapped. After some fruitless searching he heads for the police, which turns out to be a bad idea when they turn on him.
He soon discovers his father (Bruce Willis) was actually a CIA agent and may have been involved in some dodgy dealings involving a suitcase. Now some people want that suitcase back, but there’s no way for Will to tell who’s good, who’s bad and what course of action might get his family back. And just how is his dad’s colleague, Carrack (Sigourney Weaver), involved in all this, and was his father a good guy or a traitor?
Despite the known names in the cast, The Cold Light Of Day rarely rises above the kind of generic, lacklustre thriller that arrives every week, but which normally goes straight to DVD. Indeed it’s actually a lot dimmer than some of them, with a plot that makes little sense. It has to contort itself to keep Will in the dark (who sometimes seem obstinately incapable of seeing what’s going on) and resorts to an endless series of deus ex machina moments to keep things moving. It’s a film that mistakes urgency for plots, and feels that if it can just keep moving at a frenetic speed, no one will notice that it’s incredibly dumb.
Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver both turn up to collect their paycheques, leaving most of the work to future Superman Henry Cavill. Some reviews have been rather unkind to him, almost taking the view that he shouldn’t have dared take the lead in a movie until Hollywood had officially anointed him with a major franchise movie, and so he almost deserves to be in a bit of bad ‘un. However that’s rather unfair. He’s actually very good, but has to contend with a script that would flummox even the most lauded action thriller veteran.
Cavill does the Jason Bourne impression the film endlessly asks of him and there are moments where he single-handedly manages to inject some passion and emotion into a film that’s severely lacking in both (it doesn’t hurt either that he’s pretty gorgeous). It bodes well for Man Of Steel, although Cold Light Of Day isn’t really the showcase for his talent Cavill was probably hoping for.
To be honest, the film works better as promo for the Madrid Tourist Board than it does as a thriller (presuming that if you go to Spain, your family doesn’t really get kidnapped and then random people try to kill you).
Overall Verdict: It may want to be the new Bourne Identity, but sadly it’s just too confused, silly and lacklustre, despite Henry Cavill’s best efforts.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac