The Cold Light of Day review (Blu-ray)

Cavill is Will, a young San Francisco-based entrepreneur visiting his family for a sailing holiday in Spain. One day, returing from an errand on shore, he finds the yacht abandoned, and pretty soon Will's being chased by all sorts of people.

It turns out that dad Martin (Willis) was not actually a cultural attaché to the US Embassy in Madrid, but was, in fact, a CIA operative. And it also turns out that Dad's partner, played by the usually-reliable Weaver, is up to no good and is after a briefcase that Will knows the location of. So his family is being held hostage until the briefcase (which we never learn the contents of) turns up.

Cavill is a decent enough action man (let's hope he makes a more-than decent Man of Steel in 2013) but here he hardly needs to stretch his acting muscle at all – just swim, run, shoot a gun, abseil off buildings and get beaten up a lot. The Cold Light of Day has lots of gunfights, lots of chases (man, it has a lot of chases, both on foot and in cars) and the odd surprise or two – such as the lovely Echegui turning up as Will's half-sister Lucia. It's also loaded with annoying cliches and plotholes.

What it doesn't have is a coherent story, witty dialogue or enough interest to sustain your attention for its duration. The terrific cast is woefully misused – the usually reliable Willis is hardly in the film, leaving Weaver to chew up the scenery with her power suit and an Uzi. And speaking of scenery, the locations are all rather lovely (why aren't more Hollywood films shot in Spain?) but as thrillers go, there's not enough going on here to thrill a ferret.

The Cold Light of Day barely made a ripple on its theatrical release (we didn't even get to see it for review), and its easy to see why – it's bland, it's dull and it's just not very entertaining at all.

EXTRAS ★½ Just some interviews with the cast and crew (31:34); including Willis, Cavill, Weaver, director Merchi and executive producer Kevin Mann.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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