Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Cold Light of Day

The grossly incompetent thriller "The Cold Light of Day" stars Superman-designate Henry Cavill as a struggling young businessman who joins his family for a week's boating vacation in Spain. Returning from a short errand ashore, he finds their vessel has been commandeered and his kinsmen kidnapped. This sets in motion a plot of coincidence and contrivance, in which he learns his father (Bruce Willis) isn't really a "business consultant" but a CIA agent, who's given an important briefcase to some unsavory folks.

Cavill possesses Brandon Routh's combination of bland good looks and no discernible personality. Willis and Sigourney Weaver show up to cash paychecks, though Weaver finally lets loose and has a little fun. The Madrid settings are pretty, but the film lacks a distinctive look and at times appears slightly out of focus. The screenplay includes scenes in which everything is explained to Cavill, followed by even more boring scenes in which he repeats it to the eye-candy chica who's along for the ride. It ends with an egregious instance of Roger Ebert's Talking Killer Fallacy, in which the villain, rather than simply shooting the hero, stops to trash-talk him first. The writing is such that the movie would play equally effectively without sound. "The Cold Light of Day" should never have seen it.

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