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THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY ( 2012 ) – The Review

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Here’s another little flick that’s sneaking into mutiplexes in the void between the end of the Summer blockbusters and the start of the prestige Winter award seekers with very little fanfare. How little? Well, co-star Bruce Willis paid a visit to David Letterman on August 29 and never mentioned it. He was plugging the still upcoming LOOPER. But there is a bit of interest in THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY because of the film’s lead. Not because of anything he’s doing for this flick, but because of his next role. Henry Cavill will be streaking through the skies as Superman in Zack Snyder’s THE MAN OF STEEL next June. Yup, the guy playing Willis’s son will also play the last son of Krypton. It’s tough to say how he’ll look in tights ( or molded latex actually ), but he looks to be a competent action hero/ leading man. It’s a shame that DAY is a long way from competent itself.

The investment firm headed by Will ( Cavill ) is in free fall, but he’s got to jet over to Spain and join his family for his father Martin’s ( Willis ) birthday aboard his sailboat. Once they’re out on the water Will and Martin butt heads, and Will swims out to shore for supplies ( and to get away from ole’ Captain Grumpy ). When he returns, the boat is deserted. Dad, Mom,brother Josh and his gal Dara are nowhere to be found. When Will contacts the local authorities, he’s soon on the run from the law and rival agents and assassins as he tries to reunite with his missing family.

So that’s about it. Basically it’s run, run, chase, capture, escape, run, run chase. Oh, and the usually wonderful Sigourney Weaver is stuck in this repetitive mess as an old friend of the family. This film strives so hard to be a gritty, exotic action thriller like the Bourne films, but fails, or as the kids online say, “epic fail”. Without the name stars it would be an unremarkable time filler on basic cable TV. The big final car chase is set on the streets of Madrid…at night. Yeah.  We’re basically seeing headlights zip past other lights. And it goes on..and on.. Finally one character actually says ” I’m gettin’ tired of this “. I barely suppressed a loud ” Amen! “. I’m guessing Willis and Weaver just liked the idea of a paid Spanish vacation. Neither seem to have much enthusiasm for this lackluster script ( Willis never changes his squinty scowl ). Cavill’s seems a pretty good action hero, though he has to endure a whole lot of abuse in this flick ( tied-up and interrogated again? ).  Being invulnerable will be a nice change. Hopefully he’ll be a memorable Kal-el and this flick will be buried in the discount DVD  bins or late night TV while everyone involved goes on to much, much better films.

.5 Out of 5 Stars

Jim Batts was a contestant on the movie edition of TV's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in 2009 and has been a member of the St. Louis Film Critics organization since 2013.

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