Cold Comes the NightWednesday 18 Sep 2013
Director: Tse Chun
Starring: Alice Eve, Bryan Cranston, Logan Marshall-Green, Ursula Parker
Duration: 90 minutes
For a while there, it looked like the Most Disappointing Thriller of the Year race was between Deadfall and Dead Man Down. Now we have a third contender. Like the others, Cold Comes the Night has a good cast, but its problems also involve everything from pacing to ending to dodgy accents.
Single mother Chloe (Eve) is struggling to keep a roof over her head and custody of her child by running a hot sheets motel up near the Canadian border in New York State. She scrimps, she saves and she turns a blind eye to what's going on in the rooms down the way. Enter a mysterious stranger (Cranston) who is keen to rest up for a few hours but whose stay with Chloe in the middle of nowhere turns out to be a far more intense and dangerous experience than either expected - he really should've asked about the weekly rate.
Breaking Bad has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most acclaimed series of all time, so why star Bryan Cranston chose this script when he has his pick of them is a mystery - if you're a fan you'll be furious. Not since the 'glory' days of John Malkovich in Rounders ('Pay dat mahn heez mahney!') has an Eastern European brogue been so clunky and distracting, adding nothing to the character and constantly making you question why Cranston's hard man had to be from that part of the world at all.
Cast against type and made over as frumpy, Cranston's co-star Eve shows she's a better actress than some may have realised, but apart from one good 15-minute sequence both she and him must endure no-chance twists and a mad dash to the finish in this wannabe noir.
To paraphrase a legend, you've got your restraining order right here.