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The Cold Light of Day (2012)
Frankly, I knew very little about this flick beyond its trailer. Bruce Willis seems to be in every second or third movie these days, so it wasn't a surprise seeing him playing a short-lived supporting role here as Shaw's father. Leading man Cavill is set to play Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel, but I only remember him as being little more than a stock Hollywood pretty boy in the last four movies I've seen him in - including his lead in the forgettably hokey Immortals (2011). He's not much better in The Cold Light of Day. Here, thanks in large part to Scott Wiper and John Petro's half-baked screenplay, the lights are definitely off above the jawline.
According to the Internet Movie Database, co-star Verónica Echegui's 2006 starring role in Yo soy la Juani won her Best Actress at the Barcelona Film Awards and the Milan International Film Festival. That and subsequent screen performances have reportedly also won Echegui the Catalan Film Academy's Gaudi Award for Best Leading Actress, two Málaga Spanish Film Festival awards and three Goya Award nominations from the Spanish Academy of Cinematic Art and Science.
In The Cold Light of Day, that wealth of award-winning talent seems unbelievably wasted throughout as Echegui plays unwitting Spanish secretary Lucia Caldera, who's violently dragged into Shaw's often silly race against time. Sillier still, moviegoers discover they have a deeper connection that's completely pointless to the story - except perhaps to maintain a PG-13 rating in the States. But this is the movie Echegui's agent thought would be her great US debut? Really? Yikes!
Sure, this picture does contain a few reasonable gunfights and car chase scenes. It's not enough. I've pretty well already pointed to the major problem: The script is virtually non-existent, particularly after the first act. Zero thought is given to convincing, relatable dialogue beyond whatever random strings of words are blurted out to support the haphazard action. So, any interest you might have had early on for Shaw's predicament is relentlessly sabotaged as you're forced to do little else but simply watch this mess noisily unravel across the big screen. It's a shame. The best part about an action movie really shouldn't be the closing credits telling you it's over. It is here.
Do yourself a huge favour and forget about spending any time or cash on this embarrassingly dim Hollywood career hiccup. Even its production studio Intrepid Pictures and distributor Summit Entertainment obviously cut loose this bad Will hunting stinker fast, merely offering a details-barren movie trailer webpage for it at http://www.thecoldlightofday.com. Very sad, yet deserving. Reviewed 09/12, © Stephen Bourne
The Cold Light of Day is rated
14A by the Ontario Film Review Board for use of expletives, scenes
that may cause a child brief anxiety, or fear, embracing and
kissing, tobacco use, and restrained portrayals of non-graphic
violence, and is rated 13+ by la Régie du Cinéma
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