'Cold Light of Day' a deadly dud

Posted: September 08, 2012

The Cold Light of Day is a product-placement travelogue in search of a coherent thriller. A poor imitation of the best Bourne films, it's confusing and illogical, with plot lapses and continuity blunders.

It's yet another fiasco that could devalue Warner Brothers' considerable investment in Henry Cavill as the new Man of Steel.

Simply put, Day is a mess Cavill never rises above.

He plays Will, a failing businessman taking a distracted sailing vacation with his family in Spain. He gets along fine with Mom and his brother. Dad, played by Bruce Willis? Not so much. The guy's a martinet, a regular Captain Bligh on board the boat.

Will goes ashore in a huff, and when he returns, the boat has been moved and his family is gone. A rough encounter with corrupt Spanish cops has him convinced powerful forces have nabbed them. But who?

Since Dad is a CIA agent and not some embassy cultural attache, as he's always said, that could be anybody.

Will is chased through Madrid's scenic plazas, parks and puertos, past the Benettons and in Audis, Land Rovers, and BMWs. I half expected Cavill to crack, "Whaddaya know, it is the ultimate driving machine!"

The bad guys - and it's hard to think of any real "good" guys here - want a briefcase. Will falls in with leggy Lucia (Veronica Echegui) in pursuit of that briefcase and those who have it or want it - an assemblage that includes a sneering, hooting Sigourney Weaver, who seems to be the only member of the cast having a good time.

Director Mabrouk El Mechri, who did the witty/ violent Jean-Claude Van Damme "comeback" film JCVD, doesn't have enough game to make this tired plot fresh.

The Cold Light of Day *1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri. With Henry Cavill, Sigourney Weaver, and Bruce Willis. Distributed by Summit Entertainment.

Running time: 1 hour, 34 mins.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (profanity, sexual content)

Playing at: area theaters

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