The Cold Light of the Day – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on August 31, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Marc D. Evans, Trevor Macy, Kevin Mann
DIRECTOR – Mabrouk El Mechri
WRITER – Scott Wiper, John Petro, Richard Price
CAST – Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Caroline Goodall, Rafi Gavron, Emma Hamilton, Jim Piddock, Paloma Bloyd
MUSIC – Lucas Vidal
The title suggests philosophy, however the film eschews any such implications. An out and out action thriller, The Cold Light of the Day, blends raw action with suspense and churns out a racy package right till the finish.
While in Spain on a holiday, Will (Henry Cavill) suddenly finds his life in peril and world turned upside down when he is attacked by unknown sources. His father Martin/Tom (Bruce Willis) reveals that he is a CIA agent and those men are after a suitcase he intercepted from them for his intelligence agency. They have held Martin’s wife and other two children hostage until he returns it. Cornered, Martin and Will meet Jean (Sigourney Weaver) but end up being attacked by a sniper. Martin is killed and it’s now up to Will to save his family. What follows is a visceral fight for survival, gritty in its realism and urgency of combat.
The film is pure action and limited to the premise of a race-for-survival film. It is sheer dint of his love for his family that makes Will take on unknown enemies (Israeli terrorists) and brace himself against seeming friends. A businessman, he is untrained for any sort of combat tactics and Mabrouk keeps it raw and real, without death-defying stunts or CG-infested sequences. He grabs our sympathies from the start when we see the stakes piled against him are huge, including his father’s own past. He meets Lucia (Verónica Echegui), his father’s daughter from another partner, and they become cohorts. The journey takes them through shootouts and chases which they face with grit and determination, enough to turn novices into heroes. Yet, constant sequences of physical trauma leave Will unhurt (a violent sequence of falling on his back off a tall building, bullet wounds stitched by medical student, and our man bounces back like Terminator) slowly force us to take the film less seriously than it wishes us to.
This, and the premise, then steer us to take comfort in the mere thrills of the energetic race to the finish. Will’s character is limited to this race and are those of Lucia and Jean, the latter playing the part of a cold-blooded bitch stereotypically. The conventionally toned music underscores the right points, always telling us what to anticipate, even as quick cuts keep the action sequences vigorous and visceral. There is always a sense of ‘what next’, gripping and engaging and despite the inability of the film to take it deeper, this suffices for an entertaining time out with guns, cars, bad and good men and women.