Considering the people involved, it seemed like The Cold Light of Day was guaranteed to be successful. Henry Cavill plays a young businessman named Will who is on a vacation with his family that quickly turns dark. After finding out that his family is missing, Martin (Willis) reveals that he is a CIA agent whose recent mission resulted in a special briefcase being taken, and he suspects that their family has been kidnapped to leverage a deal.
Quickly, Will and Martin find themselves running from multiple enemies, including the untrustworthy CIA team leader, Jean Carrack (Weaver). Sounds like a fun action tale, right?
Turns out, The Cold Light of Day — which you can check out now on Amazon — ended up being an utter failure, leading to a horrendous 4% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The 2012 action thriller The Cold Light of Day flopped horribly
When The Cold Light of Day came out on September 7, 2012, it was both a failure at the box office and with critics. According to Box Office Mojo, the film only made just over $16 million worldwide, not even reaching the movie’s relatively small budget — for an action film — of $20 million.
Critics tore down the film, with Marc Savlov from the Austin Chronicle saying that the script “sounds as though it were penned in the cold dark of night, blindfolded, with crayons, on soggy cocktail napkins.”
Even worse, this was apparently after Henry Cavill was announced as playing Kal-El, a.k.a. Superman and others likely agreed with Savlov when he said “this film does nothing to make me think Cavill is going to be Zack Snyder’s Superman incarnate.” All critics shared similar sentiments, and many questioned why Willis and Weaver signed on.
Despite this, there is still the draw of seeing a younger Henry Cavill being chased around Madrid as he runs for his life, the beginning of his acting career that has grown to be extremely successful. Also, as everyone knows, some things are so bad they’re good.
Is that the case with The Cold Light of Day? You decide. The movie is available on Amazon if you’re willing to check it out. Who knows, maybe The Cold Light of Day will find a new life in 2021, as the film currently holds a surprising four-star rating on the site.