'The Cold Light of Day' Review: Clunker Should Have Been Left in the Dark

The young actor Henry Cavill ("Immortals," "The Tudors") has played a variety of characters during his short career, but his biggest role is still ahead of him. Next year, Cavill will don tights and star as Superman in the highly anticipated blockbuster, "Man of Steel."

He'll play a character known for leaping tall buildings in a single bound and hovering over Earth’s atmosphere. Until then, this actor is grounded on Earth - a fact made all the more evident in Cavill’s latest film: the poorly directly and terribly executed mess, "The Cold Light of Day."

The story casts Cavill as Will, a formerly successful businessman whose company is falling apart. As the film begins, he travels to Spain to visit his parents Martin (Bruce Willis) and Laurie (Caroline Goodall) and Will’s brother, Josh. Along for the ride is Josh’s girlfriend, whose entire purpose in the story is to get hit on the head during a boating sequence.

Will spends his vacation time writing and responding to e-mails while his family looks on ambivalently. One would think that Will’s passive behavior would be the group’s biggest worry, but that changes when - while Will is away getting medicine for Josh’s girlfriend because of the boating accident - the rest of the group is kidnapped aside from Martin.

It turns out that Martin previously worked for the CIA, and some bad guys are now trying to retrieve a suitcase he stole from them. Kidnapping his family, they believe, will force Martin to retrieve it and bring it back. (The suitcase, if you’re wondering, is likely full of the money it took for these actors to sign on for this monstrosity of a movie.)

Will and his father must eventually recover the suitcase or the rest of their family will be murdered. The duo run into some issues along the way and Will- who is eventually forced to resolve this situation alone - must figure out who he can trust while being chased up and down the streets and rooftops of Spain. Martin’s former partner Jean (Sigourney Weaver), who arrives after the kidnapping, plays an important role in Will figuring out what is really going on.

To be honest, there are moments in "Day" that boggle the mind such as when Martin sets up a meeting with Jean in the middle of the night and she arrives quickly wearing a full suit like she just stepped out of the office. Another ridiculous moment is when tragedy strikes Will, and he behaves as if nothing big has actually happened. A tragic event transpires and his entire reaction is understated at best and ridiculously preposterous at worst.

Sure, he’s being chased by violent killers, but a little bit of emotion would have been nice for someone who loses a person close to them.

In the end, odd alliances are formed between the characters as Will unbelievably transforms from being a whiny businessman into a fighter who takes on a deadly team of thieves. In the end, the terrible direction- especially during the fight scenes- stands along with the dull characters, and the generic plot in making this one of the year’s worst films.  

For the characters involved, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, but for viewers who shell out good money to see what the future Superman has in store, there’s only darkness here.  

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