[Screen It]


(2012) (Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis) (PG-13)

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Action/Thriller: A young man gets caught up in a web of intrigue when he learns his father is a CIA agent who may have been responsible for their family being kidnapped.
Will (HENRY CAVILL) has traveled from the United States to Spain for a long-overdue vacation with his father, Martin (BRUCE WILLIS); mother, Laurie (CAROLINE GOODALL); brother, Josh (RAFI GAVRON); and Josh's girlfriend, Dara (EMMA HAMILTON). He quarrels often with his demanding dad, who scowls anytime Will uses his cellphone or texts. Will has good reason to stay connected, though, as his consulting firm teeters on the brink of bankruptcy.

Will's life is turned truly upside down when his mom, brother, and Dara are kidnapped and he discovers his father is a CIA agent. The kidnappers seek a mysterious briefcase in return for their lives. When Martin is killed, Will is left to his own devices as he is pursued by a shadowy government operative named Carrack (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) and her top assassin Gorman (JOSEPH MAWLE) who seek to kill him at every turn.

He eventually learns that he has a twenty-something sister he never knew he had named Lucia (VERONICA ECHEGUI), whose uncle has also been mysteriously murdered by Carrack. The two team up to try and discover the secret and the whereabouts of the briefcase and placate a band of ruthless Mossad agents who want the case for their own purposes.

OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

Next summer, Henry Cavill will star as the new Superman in "Man of Steel." But why wait? You can catch him this weekend playing an ordinary guy doing such superhuman feats as dodging hundreds of bullets, surviving spectacularly violent car crashes, and falling from tall buildings without breaking a single bone in his body. On second thought -- don't. Cavill stars in "The Cold Light of Day," a preposterous thriller set largely in Madrid that tries to mix the down-and-dirty action and intrigue of the "Bourne" movies with the emotional pull of your pick of the Harrison Ford finger-waving "They've got my family!!!" thrillers. It fails miserably.

The word I would use to best describe this one is "muddled." Not only is the plot muddled and the motives of the villain (a ridiculous Sigourney Weaver) muddled, but very nearly the entire film itself. The cinematography is incredibly dark, murky, and borderline amateurish. It's a wholly unpleasant viewing experience, with its numerous night sequences so poorly lit that it becomes almost impossible to decipher what's going on in many instances. By the film's halfway point, you'll be yearning for the cold light of day for real. Skip this one, folks. It rates no higher than a 2 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed September 7, 2012 / Posted September 7, 2012

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