Movie Review: The Cold Light Of Day

Bruce Willis is known for a lot of high-octane action-thrillers.  From his early days of dangling from a fire hose outside the 35 story high Nakatomi building to his brief appearance in the star-studded Expendables series Willis always brings that extra something to make an action movie even better.  That is not the case, however, for The Cold Light Of Day.  No actor has a resume of just great movies.  There are bound to be a few that have you scratching your head wondering “what were they thinking?”  So I am willing to let Willis slide on this one because I think the success or failure of a movie is heavily dependent on the editing in my opinion (that does not mean that I am right).  The Cold Light of Day has no substance at its all action core.

A brief plot synopsis is as follows:  Struggling business consultant, Will (Henry Cavill), reluctantly takes time off from his ailing business to spend a week with family in Spain.  Will has a resentful relationship with his father, Martin (Willis), which leads to an incident on their yacht and Will has to go into town for a few hours to put some distance between him and his father.  He returns to see his family’s yacht torn apart and vacant.  When goes to recruit the help of local authorities he finds they are involved and the his father’s government job is not as honest as he had thought and now must scramble between fighting government agencies in order to get his family back.  Here is the trailer:

As I hinted at earlier this movie may have had potential had it been edited differently.  I have no idea whether this is how the director, Mabrouk El Mechri, had envisioned it but it just seemed sloppy and all over the place.  It spent so much time on the action scenes and none on the development of the story.  That is a petty complaint for an action movie but when there is an obvious question that needs to be answered and it is not it takes you out of the movie.  Now they definitely had shot some more scenes that did not make it into the movie as does every movie, but the way they chose to speed over a lot of what could have been important plot details that needed explaining did not make sense to me.  They would allude to explanations but never really make any sense of things and stuck the “just because” reasons.  Normally I love when there is a lot of action but not when it is drawn out and goes nowhere especially when it comes to car chases.

Of course with any action movie you do not watch it for the acting.  That said it is hard to do wrong.  Willis was his good as usual; Sigourney Weaver was very hate-able as a villain, and Cavill was so-so.  I kept having a hard time rooting for him because he was winey at the start of the movie and I was getting real tired of the “where’s my family” and “I need to find my family.”  It was very much a beating a dead horse kind of movie.  They kept saying how bad of a person Willis really was but they never clarify if they were just saying that to get Cavill to do what they wanted him to or if Willis’ character was really a snake in the grass government worker.  Kind of makes me nervous about Cavill being the next Superman.

The Cold Light Of Day is easily the biggest disappointment of the year to me.  Rarely do I question the title of movies of this one made absolutely no sense to me.  It has been a while since Willis has let me down but maybe he saw how bad it was going to turn out and said take me out which is why he is barely in it.  Yeah, I will just go with that.  It is just a mess so I have to give it a 3/10.

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  1. #1 by Dan on September 10, 2012 - 8:01 AM

    Oh dear. This film is getting some terrible reviews and had a really disappointing weekend at the box office. Looks like Bruce Willis has well and truly lost his mojo!

    • #2 by rochpikey on September 11, 2012 - 6:20 AM

      I wouldn’t say he has lost his mojo, we will know after Looper if he has or not. But this movie was just a mess in the editing room. It just didn’t form a cohesive story to me.

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