The Cold Light Of Day
Directed by: Mabrouk El Mechri. Starring: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver. Cert: 12A.
The Bourne copycats keep on rolling in. And, as we have come to expect, they keep on being rubbish.
Generally speaking, I would suggest that these films should come with a public health warning: Movies Inspired By The Bourne Series May Cause Incurable Brain Rot.
Of course, as with anything that carries a health warning, a bad film can be a source of pleasure, something that brings a certain enjoyment while simultaneously killing you.
The Cold Light Of Day, for example, is a movie whose immense badness is entertaining in itself, a thing so awful you can only laugh. And unless you’ve just had major abdominal surgery, who doesn’t like laughing?
The leading man here is young British actor Henry Cavill, who has inherited Superman’s cape and tights, and will save the world in director Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel next summer. In the meantime he’s been practicing his action man thing, flexing muscle and putting the fear of Zeus in mythical villains in last year’s humorously abysmal Immortals.
He gets to show off his hero skills again in The Cold Light Of Day, but, as with Immortals, he doesn’t really get the chance to show that he can act.
Not that acting ever had anything to do with being Superman, mind.
Cavill is Will Shaw, a Wall Street suit who heads to Spain for a holiday with his family. There’s bad blood between himself and his father (Willis), and the mood doesn’t improve when Dad takes the boy’s mobile phone and throws it off the family boat, into the sea – a fantasy moment for anyone who’s ever tried to hold a conversation with a clown (or a teenage daughter) who insists on texting and taking calls while you talk like an eejit.
It probably would have been best to leave the cinema on this high note.
Will just leaves the boat and swims to town. Which is an excellent way to cool off after a fight, I have always found, swimming to town for a beverage.
When he gets back to the boat, he finds that his family has been kidnapped by terrorists. And that’s always a bummer, let me tell you, an international hostage crisis right after a nice dip in the sea.
The bad guys are looking for a briefcase, and Will has 24 hours to find it.
So he gallops around Madrid, learns an interesting fact about his daddy, gets to know his fine Spanish half-sister (Veronica Echegui), and teams up with a shifty CIA agent named Carrack (Weaver), who has a fondness for swearing, shooting, and driving fast. And as with any Bourne wannabe, you end up wondering who the bad guys really are.
Or you would, if you weren’t too busy wondering why you’re laughing instead of sitting on the edge of your seat, or why the nice middle-aged couple two rows in front of you are cursing and throwing popcorn at the screen.
Clearly not everyone thinks it’s funny. But then, when you pay good money to see bad photography, poor chase scenes, and highly-paid actors picking up mortgage cheques for reading dialogue that was written by a brain-damaged horse – well, I suppose we could amend that health warning to read: Movies Inspired By The Bourne Series May Cause Incurable Brain Rot.
Viewers May Experience Sudden Fits Of Laughter, Though Violent Rage Is Also A Distinct Possibility.
Should These Side Effects Occur, Exit The Building Immediately. Viewers Who Wish To Remain And Get Their Money’s Worth (Ha Ha Ha) Should Consider Wearing A Sturdy Helmet To Protect Against Airborne Missiles.
However, Please Note That Even The Sturdiest Helmet Will Not Guard Against Brain Rot.
Contrary To Popular Myth, Tinfoil Helmets Won’t Help You, Either.
I think that should do it.