APPEALING performers and sun-dappled Spanish locations should make for a passable outing but in the case of The Cold Light of Day slapping on a “generic” label is still too kind a description.
The thin plot revolves around a briefcase, and it’s amazing that the CIA still rely so heavily on them. Given the extraordinarily advanced technology at their disposal, you’d think they’d have this stuff on tiny microchips embedded into the bulging bicep of the action hero or something equally impenetrable, but apparently not.
Anyway, the story goes that Will (Henry Cavill) joins his family on holiday in Spain, only for them to go missing. He finds out that his dad (Bruce Willis) is not all he appears (natch) and is plunged into an action-packed mission to rescue his family.
There’s not enough of Willis in this film and instead we’re made to watch Cavill running around with all the screen presence of a damp sock.
In fact the writers seem to have mistaken “good looking” for an actual character trait.
As is often the case in these action-thrillers, the protagonist goes from average man to action hero in a drastically short space of time.
If I were in Will’s position, I’d spend the duration of the film sitting down in tears. Instead, Will turns into a gun-wielding action star, and the result is somehow less exciting.
The action sequences themselves tend to take place in such low-visibility that you can never really see much which is ironic given the title of the film.
Actually, it’s never entirely clear why it’s called The Cold Light of Day, though it’s surprising that it’s not called BlackBerry and Audi present: The Cold Light of Day, given the head-beating obviousness of the product placement.
Almost as irritating is Lucia (Verónica Echegui), whose role consists purely of screeching “Will!” and limply following his whined instructions.
As a film it’s perfectly serviceable and competently directed by Mabrouk El Mechri; there’s a good stunt or two, some nice shots of sunny Spain and a fun make-shift surgery scene with a conveniently located blow torch.
Sigourney Weaver steals the show as a cold, ruthless secret agent, but even she can’t save the film from plain old mediocrity.