The Cold Light Of Day - Blu-ray Review

'For God's sake: this is basically the same set up as Spy Kids.'

Mainstream Action cinema has a problem. Although arguably not quite as much in the doldrums as the Romantic-Comedy, Action is struggling with its identity. Old stars are hanging around longer (see: The Expendables), news stars are struggling to make significant breakthroughs (see: Taylor's Kitsch and Lautner), audiences are showing a new willingness to seek out interesting and original international releases (see: The Raid).

So, what can The Cold Light Of Day do to claw back some ground for the genre? It gets off to a good start. The film encourages the handing off of Action to new up-and-comers with potential, biceps and charisma. Bruce Willis plays father Martin, Henry Cavill is his out of his depth son, Will. In a fairly competent first reel, Martin's baton of espionage is passed to Will, who must use it to discover the mystery behind his family's disappearance.

Its functional and, for the Action genre at the moment, it might even be classed as promising but this is a world away from original. Think back to films with similar plots and you'll likely hit on a smattering of average offerings from way back and several 90s films that copied them. For God's sake: this is basically the same set up as Spy Kids.

This hits on another problem for the genre. Ideas getting stretched out and recycled is an inevitable function of cinema but what can the films that recycle them bring to the table? Here, The Cold Light Of Day really falls down.

As Will follows plot point after plot point, he meets, in no particular order, a nefarious assassin, a series of people who don't believe him, a beautiful girl and a duplicitous evil doer. There's action structured around jumping off a roof, chasing a motorcycle and being shot at in an underground car park. There is absolutely nothing of note as something new, nothing for director Mabrouk El Mechri to say; 'I invented that', a sad occurrence given his 2008 offering JCVD was so willing to try new things and subvert the very genre he dawdles aimlessly in here.

Arguably the one bright-ish light is Cavill, who does his best and looks convincing but is often left with incalculably stupid lines to utter by Scott Wiper and John Petro's script. Sigourney Weaver used to be able to act but shows no evidence of it in her portrayal of C.I.A ghoul Jean Carrack and a late car chase down some steps is woefully badly directed; the in-car shots of actors looking like they are receiving a gentle massage whilst outwardly, cars are totalled with abandon. Relentlessly below average.

The Cold Light Of Day is out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from Monday 10th September.

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