Cold Comes the Night’s opening sequence culminates with a slow tracking shot that moves from a handset hanging down from a telephone to a shattered glass door, through which we glimpse the limp hand of a lifeless body. The scene aims for restraint and suspense, but only manages to serve up several visual stereotypes in one aggravatingly obvious dramatic swoop. The rest of the film follows the crossed paths of seasoned criminal Topo (Bryan Cranston), who’s on his way to Quebec with his nephew, Billy (Logan Marshall-Green), to deliver some money, and Chloe (Alice Eve), who’s struggling to keep custody of her daughter, Sophia (Ursula Parker), while living among sex workers and drug users at the motel she owns. That motel is where Topo and Billy stop for a rest, and where the latter quickly ends up dead in his room with a prostitute, leading the police to confiscate his car with the cash inside and Topo to take Chloe and Sophia hostage. Cranston, shackled by a one-dimensional role that exudes only the menace and none of the comic undertones of his iconic Walter White, isn’t done any favors by director Tze Chun’s unremarkable handling of genre tropes. From its characters down to its moody depiction of small-town America as a place where the men are all violent and corrupt cheaters, and the women are admirable for their strength and resilience, Cold Comes the Night exudes no flair in rehashing the violence and suspense of its predictable noir-thriller material.
- Stage 6 and Samuel Goldwyn Films
- 90 min
- Tze Chun
- Tze Chun, Osgood Perkins, Nick Simon
- Alice Eve, Bryan Cranston, Ursula Parker, Logan Marshall-Green
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