Henry CavillBruce WillisVerónica Echegui and Sigourney Weaver

Cold Light Of Day, movie, Bruce Willis


I love a good action flick. All that chasing and running takes me away into a world where I can forget about anything and everything. It’s like going on a ride at the fair… up, down, around, twist, turn, bump, til you forget what you had for lunch or it comes back up.

I’m struggling to describe this one, though. There’s action, yes. A ridiculously long car chase that bordered on absurd. Crashes that would have killed most people barely injure the participants. Sometimes the air bag goes off so the hero can walk away, sometimes it doesn’t. I had to assume when it didn’t it was because it would ruin the through-the-windshield camera angle. They never appeared to be wearing seat belts, yet they must have been or why else didn’t they fly out the windows?

Aside from that, there’s an almost comical disregard for realism in general. At one point, the hero, along with a girl he’s picked up along the way, have a motorcycle wipe out in which they slide a good 50 feet on asphalt. The girl is wearing a mini-dress, of course, and she lands first with the guy basically on top of her. Yet when she stands up (I’d have to be carted away), there’s not a scratch on those pretty thighs. Any normal person would have road burn all down the leg. But not her.

At another point, one of the bad guys is trapped with duct tape around his wrists, which he gets rid of by holding it over a pipe pouring hot steam. You can see from his expression that it hurts… burns, in fact. Yet moments later there is miraculously not a mark on either wrist! Having experienced steam burns first hand, I had to laugh at that one. If only I’d had that super power back at the Dairy Queen!

Our intrepid hero is beat up, shot, tossed around in car wreck after wreck, pummeled, and nearly strangled, and yet like the Energizer Bunny he keeps ticking despite blood loss and serious bodily injury.

In other words, it’s an old-fashioned throw back to 80’s action flicks.

Is there a plot? Sure. Sort of. Basically. To be fair, it made more sense than The Expendables did. Our hero has just learned his business is bankrupt, has a fight with the father he’s never really bonded with, and ends up heading to town to cool off. When he comes back, his family is gone. Suddenly people are trying to kill him and he doesn’t know why. We find out that it’s all over a suitcase. The bad guys want it, or they’ll kill his family. Problem is, he has no idea where the suitcase is or how to get it. He’s a failed business consultant, he’s not a crime fighter. He has no skills in the spy arena.

The premise doesn’t sound horrible (except for the hokey suitcase part. Seriously, a suitcase?). Where it falls short is the blatant disregard for true story and motivation. There’s a twist that left me more confused than anything. It’s never truly resolved, but they don’t seem to care. A great twist should come with an “ah!” moment. This one was more like “WTF?”

We never do find out exactly what’s in the suitcase, either. Sorta pisses me off, because it’s blatant plot manipulation. Duex Ex Machina on a grand and glorious scale. In other words, it really doesn’t matter what he’s chasing after. It could be pink fluffy bunnies. The point of this movie is to simply chase and be chased. Reason and logic can stay home.

I didn’t care for Sigourney Weaver’s performance in this. She can do so much better. I could tell she was having fun with it, but the problem was there wasn’t a lot of characterization to play with and a lot of her actions made no sense at all. Bruce Willis…well, I expect this sort of thing from him lately. I think he’s having a mid-life crisis and trying to re-live the glory days. I thought Henry Cavill did a decent job with what he had to work with, but this was not his finest hour. Far, far from it. He’s mighty tasty to look at, though, so there’s that. I hope we see more of Veronica Echegui. She’s beautiful, and I felt like she had potential.

If you’re looking for a chase/get away from it all/frolic-in-the-improbable action type of movie, then this is for you. If you’re looking for a well told story, then save this for DVD.