Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Cold Light of Day


I saw one trailer for The Cold Light of Day just before its brief theatrical run this past September.  I didn’t think it looked all that good and passed it over for better flicks, and rightfully so because the reviews were saying that it was flat out horrendous. It was just released on video and I decided to give it a shot regardless of all the bad word of mouth. Well, I should have passed it over once again because this is one sorry excuse of a movie.

Basically it is about timid businessman Will (Henry Cavill) who discovers his father (Bruce Willis) is a CIA operative, and due to a mission he just completed his family gets kidnapped by terrorists. Will not only must rescue his family, but avoid a psychotic CIA agent (Sigourney Weaver) that would rather they all die than compromise national security.
The reason this flick gets so much flack is that it is about as dumb as a movie can get. The filmmakers assume that the audience is full of idiots that are willing to buy into anything and everything they throw at them regardless of how ridiculously implausible it may be. I am perfectly capable of suspending my disbelief as much as the next person, but this movie has “What the fuck were they thinking?!” written all over it. Here are some examples:

-   Cavill falls from the roof of a five story building, hits every single balcony on the way down, lands on solid concrete and then gets up and runs away unscathed.

-   Cavill receives a massive fist fucking to his face in a torture scene and walks away with basically a small bruise on his cheek and a cut on his lip, but another non-major player gets punched three times and his face swells up like a balloon.
-   Cavill, whose character is kind of a whiny pussy, can take on trained CIA operatives with weapons and totally whoop their asses. He can barely explain to government agents the situation he is in, but he can kill just about anyone that crosses his path!

-   At one point Sigourney Weaver unloads an uzi at Cavill from about 4 feet away and misses him completely. She has him point blank, no obstructions in her way as he runs up a flight of stairs and she can’t even land one bullet. Did she train at the Empire’s Stormtrooper Academy?!

-   Cavill gets shot in the side randomly and when a medical student examines him she sticks her finger into the wound to pull out the bullet. She says there is no bullet in him, but there is no exit wound. Did it just fall out?!
-   The same medical student claims she must stop Cavill’s bleeding and heats up a spoon and burns the wound closed. But he’s bleeding from a 4 inch wound INSIDE HIM! How is closing the outside going to stop the bleeding? At least Rambo III got this detail right.

 -   After all this bullet wound stuff Cavill wakes up the next morning rearing to go kick some CIA butt with only a slight limp to show he was injured. If I was shot I’m sure I would be completely immobilized for at least a week and using a colostomy bag regularly.

-   After being told that he’s wanted for the murder of a policeman, Cavill escapes from the U.S. Embassy in Spain and makes it look like its run by completely incompetent idiots since he slips right through their fingers with little to no effort.

-   CIA operatives have a kryptonite… nightclub bouncers. Seriously.
SPOILER ALERT!
-   Cavill must retrieve a briefcase that his father stole from terrorists and handed over to his partner Sigourney Weaver for safe keeping. She betrayed him and plans to sell the contents to the highest bidder. Cavill must, and does, steal back the case and returns it to the terrorists in exchange for his family. So basically he aids terrorists, who the filmmakers portray as a bunch of misunderstood nice guys that just so happen to carry assault weapons, enjoy beating people to death, kidnap innocent people and blow up buildings. WTF?!

As you can see, this is just one stupid event after another and I found the movie a chore to sit through because of it. I can’t believe that the producers were actually able to convince Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver to participate in this crap. And what’s worse is that this was shot AFTER Henry Cavill’s turn as Superman in Man of Steel, so he clearly isn’t being smart about his roles and has a terrible agent.
The acting universally sucks. Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver both look like they need rent money and are going through the motions in the extreme. Cavill is trying his hardest to pull off all the ridiculousness his character excels at for no reason at all, but the script is so shitty that he literally looks like he’s treading water for the entire runtime. The worst is Rafi Gavron, the actor who plays Cavill’s younger brother. At one point, after he and his family have been kidnapped, Cavill gets to see them tied up in a backroom to help motivate him to find the briefcase. Gavron is sitting there blankfaced and completely calm obviously waiting patiently for everyone else to say their lines so he can say his. It’s laughable. The whole production is.

Director Mabrouk El Mechri, who helmed the overrated JCVD, really needs to take a step back and start picking good projects. Maybe the movie was taken away from him by the studio, maybe the whole production was overwhelming to him or maybe he is just a talentless hack. I have no idea what the deal is and I don’t care. All I know is that he made a horrible movie and the audience knew to stay away, and rightfully so. It sucks the big one.
The Cold Light of Day has a ludicrous script, the acting is off the charts wretched, all the creative choices are lame or misguided. Even though there are plenty of action scenes the movie is immensely boring due to all the above. If the script didn’t take itself so damned seriously and went for a tongue-in-cheek tone, like The Transporter, it might have been an entertaining little waste of time. As it is it’s one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been seeing a lot of them recently.

0 out of 5

Side Note:  I want to see a copy of the script so I can count the amount of times Cavill’s character says “I need to save my family”. I think he says it at least twice per minute. It’s annoying beyond belief and is comparable to the amount of times someone screams “Carol-Anne!” in Poltergeist III or someone asks “Where’s the Rabbit’s Foot?” in Mission: Impossible III. It’s a bad joke that’s taken too far.

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