DVD Review - The Cold Light of Day

Henry Cavill in "The Cold Light of Day"
Ever since it was announced that Henry Cavill was picked to be the next Superman, the question has been who is Henry Cavill. I suppose when any actor is cast in this role, that same question is asked. I don't think many people in masse knew who Brandon Routh was prior to his casting in the previous Superman film. Routh's casting in that film put his name out there and allowed people to get to know him. The same is true for Cavill. Fans of the TV series The Tudors needed no introduction, but, immediately following Cavill's casting as Superman, people in masse could see the British import as the lead in Tarsem's Immortals, which proved nothing except that he has the well-muscled body to play this or any action role. This film, which might have been photographed before Tarsem's movie, perhaps tries to prove that Cavill can be the everyman that's somewhere between Hitchcock's everyman, i.e., Cary Grant in North By Northwest and Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Whether or not that's applicable to playing Clark Kent is inconsequential.

Henry Cavill plays Will Shaw, a business owner who travels from San Francisco to Madrid, Spain, to spend vacation with his family. There are some issues that Will has with his business and even his family, but none of that matters because after a few minutes all of it goes away. Sadly, writers Scott Wiper and John Petro don't give us enough of Will's business and family to have us care about them. It's so bad that I almost wanted Will to leave Spain without them, which obviously isn't what the intention is.

The plot is rather convoluted and too twisty to follow. The only thing I gathered is that people want a briefcase and are willing to kill to get it. Why that is isn't truly explained. It perhaps was but it got to a point where I was so checked out that I might have missed it. What the briefcase means and what's inside of it aren't explained either. The briefcase is the classic McGuffin, so it doesn't matter.

Besides providing a platform to showcase Cavill as a potential action star, it seems like a vehicle for Sigourney Weaver who plays June Carrack to do car chases and front-of-the-pack shootouts. While Cavill is scared and desperately on-the-run from moment to moment, Weaver is cold and calculating. It's a typical setup but Cavill here lacks the humor and charisma of Cary Grant or even Bruce Willis. He doesn't even have the humor of Routh. I'm not sure if it's the writing and direction to blame, but The Cold Light of Day certainly doesn't set the stage for Cavill in Man of Steel.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for action and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 33 mins.


Popular Posts