Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Cold Light of Day

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! In the right context, the title of this film could be a witty rebuttal by Mr. Freeze to Batman.

The Cold Light of Day – 2 out of 5

With a title that sounds more like the album name of the latest folk rock artist in a fedora, tight jeans and scarf-wrapped neck, The Cold Light of Day ends up, in reality, to be a unimaginative and boring action/thriller that contains a lot of Superman running around and Bruce Willis probably getting paid way, WAY more money than he should be for his very, VERY limited role.

Will (Henry Cavill) is a straight-laced Wall Street boy who, reluctantly, goes on vacation with his family in Spain. After some frustration with his father (Bruce Willis) on their sailboat, Will decides to swim to shore and take a break from his family; however, when he returns, he is shocked to find them missing and, soon, he finds out that he is in deeper than he realized as it turns out his father is a spy. Now Will is in a fight for his life as he tries to save his family.

"Apparently we have excellent night vision, officer.  We don't even need a flashlight."

Going into the film, I didn’t have very high expectations but the movie was so bland and lifeless that it actually traveled back in time to my slightly younger self and convinced him to have even lower standards. The film isn’t actually terrible or hard to watch, and I never found myself bored out of my mind or angry because of shitty production or acting, it just never really did anything to really make itself stand out or even just kinda half-ass itself to be a mediocre and average film.

"I'm telling you, I'm not crazy!  LOOK AT ME!!!  I'm not the crazy one here!"

The story feels like it borrows elements from other espionage/kidnapping/action films without actually getting into Shia LaDouche levels of plagiarism and it sort of just wanders through its plot like it is in no real hurry and will arrive at the end when “you know, whenever.” The whole story and plot just felt way too laid back and relax for a thriller about a man who is forced to save his family and is trying to do so on a skill set that involves…um…whatever type of money and market-based skills a dude on Wall Street has.

"I can't hear you over all the Wall Street-ing I am doing right now!"

Then you have the cast, which is made up of decent and talented actors, but they are all so sporadic in their performances. Henry Cavill is okay in his role but his character is hard to deal with as his reactions are insanely dramatic or they are near hysterical. It was kinda hard seeing the man who went on to be the Last Son of Krypton cry so much and to such a tween girl extent. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if his character was dealing with the frustrations of fighting for the life of himself and his family or if he was in hysterics because he just saw Wilfrod Brimley (teenage girls like Wilford Brimley, right?)

Just wait till he hears him say "diabeetus."

Sigourney Weaver is in the film also and she looks like she gives about as many fucks over this film as she does about how I like my eggs done in the morning. While her performance isn’t outright terrible, she just looks like she doesn’t care that much (kinda like how she doesn’t care about how I like my eggs. That very angry email you sent to me that called me a lot of awful names was unnecessary, Sigourney. I just thought you wanted to know that I like them over medium and, sometimes, scrambled).

"I don't give a fuck about your eggs, asshole." - Her actual words*

Hey, and speaking of actors who just look like they couldn’t care less about the project they are in, Bruce Willis is in the film!

Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s rare that we see any movie with Willis—especially in the last decade—where he looks like he actually cares about the product, the character or even just justifying why he’s getting the paycheck for the damn thing. The man has made a career out of being Bruce Willis and it has caused his acting to suffer. Every film he’s been in, as of late, he looks like he doesn’t care, even after the check clears. He looks like he just showed up on set, did his scenes in one take (and after taking numerous painkillers and other pills to crush his ability to feel anything), and then just left…not noticing if the director called “action,” “cut,” or “okay, we did the rehearsal, now let’s do the real thing.”

Pictured:  More convincing that Bruce Willis' performances over the last 15 years.

Willis’ part is very, very limited in this film and he’s giving the same amount of effort he’s put into films where he sticks around the entire running length (well, the same amount he's been giving to his roles in the last ten years, anyway). Willis’ gives off emotion once, maybe twice, in the film but the rest of the time he just looks like he’s doing this film as a favor to someone (and to someone he doesn't like, for that matter.  Which, of course, begs the question of why is he doing the favor?). The man has star power and that’s why he has his small role in this movie but he shouldn’t make it look like he’s just coasting on his name or look like he's doing this movie just for an easy paycheck.

Thanks for the effort, Willis.

Finally, this film could have been redeemed—yes, the convoluted plot and all—if the action scenes were decent. The problem, however, they weren’t that good. Aside from when Cavill is screaming and crying during the film’s few shoot outs, the action just kinda lazily appears on the screen and doesn’t really seem that motivated to do anything (I’m assuming Willis took the form of the film’s action, in this case). Most of the action is just Henry Cavill’s character escaping a situation and then running…a lot! I mean, we see him run more than we should be seeing an accidental hero run.  Accidental heroes should be running towards the enemy because they are left with no other option but we don't really get that here.

That's not proper running attire.  Was he not thinking ahead?

Things aren’t helped with the fact the film doesn’t really have a well developed, or even remotely interesting, antagonist. Sure, they try to add an evil henchman who looks like he would be the brother of Jackie Earle Haley but there was just no perceivable threat other than the fact Will’s family is taken hostage.

"The accumulated filth of all their popcorn and theater sodas will make the floor sticky and all the
fans and audience members will look up and shout 'You kinda look like that guy...
'and I'll whisper 'I get that a lot.' " 

There was definitely some potential for The Cold Light of Day to be a somewhat watchable movie. While the film isn’t very special or memorable, it wasn’t awful to the point I wanted to stab a bunch of innocent bystanders who just, unluckily, got in my way—it is, in no way, that bad. However, the film just doesn’t have anything going for it. The story is sloppy, the acting is barely passable, there’s no real bad guy to pose a threat to our hero—there’s no real hero, honestly; just a regular guy trying to get his family back in a very non-exciting way—and the action is plain and easily forgettable. Had some sort of effort gone into any of these elements, it could have made the movie better but, as it stands now, it’s just a forgettable flick that left no impression on me except for the fact I barely remember what its title was.

*Sigourney Weaver never actually emailed me and called me names.  Please don't sue me.  I loved you in Aliens.

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