6 April 2012

Review: The Cold Light Of Day

(Dir: Mabrouk El Mechri, 2012)

The ridiculously clichéd and inexplicably stupid elements of The Cold Light Of Day got me thinking on the way home from the cinema. Why do so many decent actors seem to end up in cheesy and pretty dumb movies like this? Surely these films can’t have just turned into averageness during the shoot or in the editing suite, there must’ve been some signs of this in the script? Or do they not care as it’s just a pay cheque for a film that probably has little chance of setting the box office alight? I find the career choices actors make interesting to observe.

In the case of The Cold Light Of Day we’re talking about Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. Aside from Avatar, Weaver seems to have mostly had bit roles in recent years, cropping up for short stints in films like Rampart and Abduction, which is a shame because she’s a good actress who should have bigger roles. She has a lot more to do here than in most recent films I've seen her in, so perhaps that was the allure? Willis on the other hand doesn’t need to be appearing in average films like this, but perhaps we give him too much leeway for all the average things he’s done on the sole basis of John McClane?

However neither Weaver nor Willis are the lead here, that auspicious honour falls to Henry Cavill who plays Will, whose family is kidnapped off their boat in Spain whilst holidaying. Will must find out who has them and why, which involves lots of running around Spanish cities, shoot-outs, government agents and always obfuscated secrets. I want to like Cavill, he has an interesting presence and is engaging enough as a lead, but I’m just not sure he’s that good an actor. He’s convincing enough in the action scenes, but anything that requires actual acting less so. I thought the same in Immortals, but then perhaps neither that nor The Cold Light Of Day are really the best films to judge acting ability on. It’s now made me question his casting in next year’s Man Of Steel, he’ll look the part of Clark Kent / Superman for sure, but then of course that’s a Zack Snyder film so perhaps it’s pointless to care about anything more than how he looks, and I’ll just have to wait for his next film after that to judge properly?

Everything about The Cold Light Of Day has been done many times before, and much better at that. The film really doesn’t attempt to go for anything more than cliché, which goes back to my first point about the script – the level of cliché must have been clear then? This of course annoyingly means that logic also goes out the window quite frequently, and quite inexplicably so at times. Accordingly any big plot reveals are just too patently obvious. At this level it really has nothing to recommend it, however none of this stops it from being casually entertaining. At the end of the day, sometimes you just need to switch off your brain and have some undemanding entertainment fed to you without pretense. Did I mention there's an enjoyable car chase in it?

I should point out that I thought it was quite well shot, the cameraman was at least being creative and adding some interesting pans and movement. Plus, as much as I criticised Weaver and Willis for taking roles in this, they’re both very watchable and it’s always pleasing to see them on screen. Shame it wasn’t in something much better. If you can stand thinking you’ve seen this many many times before, The Cold Light Of Day may keep you quietly entertained. I didn't hate it, but nor did I manage to experience anything encroaching on like. And I'm still clueless as to why it's actually called "The Cold Light Of Day".

No comments:

Post a Comment