So murky that it is hard to discern shapes, let alone faces, in many of its scenes, and so crudely edited that its frenzied action has scant continuity, The Cold Light of Day is a catastrophe worth noting only for the presence of its big-name cast.
Who knows why stars of the caliber of Henry Cavill (the next Superman), Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver signed on for this thoroughly incompetent Bourne movie imitation.
Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri (JCVD, a well-regarded Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle), the film is set in Spain, where its hero, Will Shaw (Cavill), a newly bankrupted San Francisco business consultant, reunites with his family for a sailboat vacation.
Willis plays Martin, the Shaw paterfamilias, a slit-eyed enigma with a craggy, coin-worthy profile and a grave aura who is shot to death in front of Will after the rest of the family is snatched off the boat while Will is ashore.
Until just before Martins murder, Will hadnt known that his dad was a CIA officer. The treasure that competing Middle Eastern factions are desperate to get their mitts on is a briefcase whose contents are never revealed.
Do I hear groans of weary recognition?
Once its setup is established, The Cold Light of Day collapses into a chao-tic jumble of poorly staged car chases and shootouts, many involving Martins evil, double-dealing boss, Carrack (Weaver). If she had been encouraged to camp up the role of this trigger-happy witch, Weaver might have squeezed out some fun, but she cowers behind blips of dialogue she seems almost embarrassed to speak.
While on the run, Will teams up with Lucia (Veronica Echegui, a Penelope Cruz clone).
They make a pretty pair. But Cavills performance is so wooden that it suggests that he might deliver Supermans cartoon-balloon oratory with just the right tone of gee-whiz sincerity.