Cold Comes the Night – 2 out of 5
If movies, television, books, music, print ads, the back of cereal boxes and rogue skywriters have taught me anything, it’s that a lot goes on in the night and the night does a lot of things. For example, according to this movie, the night is coming in coldly. The night is also known for doing stuff in the still of it, it apparently belongs to lovers, you can do important and secret stuff under its cover, “Afternoon Delight” teaches us that the night will always be here anyway, four dudes in makeup like to rock and roll all through it, I’ve heard that during nighttime on Saturday that it’s alright for fighting, and sometimes you can feel it in the air on nights like tonight…oh, lord! And I’m not even getting into the various “ofs” that come with certain nights; nights that include the living dead, giant bunnies, or nights that involve demons. Basically, with the night comes a lot of stuff…sometimes, that stuff is just boredom.
|Look at that night...it's coming in soooo cold!|
Chloe (Alice Eve) is just a simple motel operator trying to squeak a living by for herself and her daughter. She has financial troubles like nobody’s business and she carries on an ill-advised relationship with a married man/crooked cop named Billy (Logan Marshall-Green). One day, fate slaps her in the face when a hitman with failing eyesight (Bryan Cranston) checks into the motel and his driver ends up killing a prostitute that Chloe lets use of the rooms to. The biggest problem (as if losing your driver to hooker murder isn't bad enough) occurs when the hitman learns that Billy has stolen a large sum of money that he was transporting for some very bad men and now he uses Chloe as a hostage to get it back.
|So...what was the point of her in her underwear in Star Trek?|
Starting with the good first, Alice Eve and Bryan Cranston are fantastic in this film. Hell, I’ll admit that the only reason I watched this film in the first place was because Cranston was in it. Neither of these two failed in their department and was the only saving grace that this otherwise lifeless film had going for it. Granted, the accent Cranston uses is a little distracting and didn’t really do much to make the character more meaningful, memorable or even more interesting but it could have been a lot worse.
|*Insert meth/Heisenberg/Breaking Bad reference here*|
The hard part to deal with in the acting department came from Logan Marshall-Green. His role in the film is small and he only shows up here and there; for most of this, he’s not memorable but not terrible in his role either. However, it’s during the film's climax that he suddenly goes off the rails and starts taking the character of Billy into the stratosphere of crazy. It felt completely out of place for the grounded crime drama and I suddenly started to wonder if he accidentally switched scripts and was playing the wrong role because his character goes from crooked to crazy with a single scene change. Granted, his emotional breakdown kinda/sorta has some point and merit to it but it's the way he plays the breakdown that gets distracting. The majority of the movie is spent moving at a slow pace and then all of a sudden you have a character trying to be Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker and it immediately destroyed what little entertainment I was getting from the film.
|"Wanna know how I got these scars? Er...if I had any."|
Of course, it’s not like I was really that into the film to begin with…
|Yep, I kinda looked like that while I was watching Cold Comes the Night.|
The story seems easy enough: Dude uses girl to get drug/murder money back from bad cop so he can deliver the cash to a different breed of bad dude. The problem comes is the movie does little to make this film stand out. Oh, it tries by entering in the idea that Billy is a corrupt cop, Chloe is sleeping with Billy and Chloe needs cash bad because the State is involving themselves in her life. However, with all the trying this film does with these elements, it ultimately started to feel like they were tacked on or forgotten about and randomly brought back when the writer remembered including them. I already mentioned how Billy sort of comes and goes within the narrative (despite the fact he should have been a major player in the plot) but the problem that arises from this (and the fact that Chloe needs money really badly) is that these plot threads weren’t developed very well or just felt half-assed. Shit, even the Bryan Cranston’s character and his failing eyesight are just established and then it rarely comes into play during the film (sure, it has its place but that place should have been a lot bigger). This, ultimately, made the film feel like the crew went into production on a script that was only in its outline stage or barely out of its first draft.
|Oh man...look behind her! That night is still coming in really coldly!|
Cold Comes the Night could have been passable or mildly entertaining if the film feathered out a lot of its plot elements and had some characters that were a little richer and more developed. As it stands, the film wasn’t absolutely horrible (however, Logan Marshall-Green at the end was close to making it so) but it just didn’t have that spark, that hook or special magic to make the film interesting. Sure, Alice Eve and Bryan Cranston are fantastic but they couldn’t save a film that just didn’t really offer up much from the get-go.