Friday, 6 April 2012


So, before he dons the famous red and blue tights and cape combo of Superman for the reboot, Cavill gets to flex his leading man duties with a European-based thriller.

Ever since Damon and Neeson showed that films can be successful based in territories other than America with the Bourne franchise and Taken, it's no surprise that any additions to the thriller genre would try to replicate their success. This time Spain, and in particular Madrid, play host to these latest cat-and-mouse antics that find an everyday man - Cavill - trying to save his kidnapped family. All of course whilst trying to stay alive, avoid CIA agents, stay one step ahead of possible terrorists and process the fact that he has been part of a life that he didn't know which is now exploding all around him, literally.

What is the most surprising thing about Cold Light Of Day is how relatively unknown director El Mechri and newbie writers Petro and Wiper attracted the likes of Willis and Weaver to their film. Especially when you think that they have both A-list stars been involved in classic tales of "right person caught up in events out of their control" that rewrote the genres they played out in - Die Hard and Alien.

Here, no such spark of ingenuity or mould-breaking-cultness appears during its overlong running time. Instead what you are presented with is a jumble of ideas and scenes thrown together from countless other average paint-by-number thrillers that have mostly landed on the direct-to-dvd shelf rather than pack them in at the multiplexes. Dialogue, what there is of it is either grunts, running induced panting or head-shakingly awful for the audience - especially when you know exactly what's coming up next yet no one in the film seems to despite them skirting around the issue for ages. Without giving anything away, when a character who seems emotionally distant then suddenly says that they "love" another character, you know you may as well wave them goodbye in a few minutes.

Cavill does himself no favours here with a role that requires little of him apart from be confused for the first two thirds of the film, then to suddenly become shouty and somehow in complete control of everything. Willis and Weaver should be ashamed of themselves and at times have the decency to portray just that - even Weaver gets to utter the line "I've had enough of this," and to be honest, most people would agree with her.

No one ever sets out to make a bad film, but surely someone could have taken a step back and realised in The Cold Light Of Day that they should have scrapped it all and started again? Or perhaps waited until another project came along to pay the bills... And no, it's not even that bad that it becomes good.

UK release date: 06.04.12
Certificate: 12A

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