By Don Simpson | January 9, 2014
Director: Tze Chun
Writers: Tze Chun, Osgood Perkins, Nick Simon
Starring: Alice Eve, Bryan Cranston, Logan Marshall-Green, Ursula Parker, Leo Fitzpatrick, Erin Cummings, Robin Taylor, Sarah Sokolovic, Marceline Hugot, Esau Pritchett, Stephen Sheffer, Robert Prescott, Ashlie Atkinson
Armed with a ridiculously comical Eastern European accent, Topo (Bryan Cranston) is an aged hit man currently employed as an errand boy for a presumably ruthless Québécois mobster. When the latest package that Topo is assigned to deliver goes missing, Chloe (Alice Eve) — the economically desperate proprietor of a seedy motel near the Canada-United States boarder — seems to be his only key to regaining possession of the mysterious package. Topo’s poor eyesight may render him almost powerless, but he is able to motivate Chloe to assist him by threatening the life of her young daughter (Ursula Parker).
For better or worse, Chloe and Topo discover an unlikely kinship in their current financial dilemmas. Money is the sole factor that controls both of their respective wellbeings. Chloe is forced to turn her head as prostitutes frequent the motel rooms for their tricks, since they seem to be her only clientele. Keenly aware of the prostitution going on at the motel, Child Protective Services does not believe that it is a safe environment to raise a child. In order to retain custody of her daughter, CPS states that they must live somewhere other than the motel. That, of course, would require a lot more cash than Chloe currently has on hand. Topo, on the other hand, needs to regain possession of the money that he was hired to deliver. If he does not deliver the money on time, Topo is a dead man. The evil specter of Capitalism is licking its chops, as it prepares to show absolutely no mercy towards Chloe and Topo.
While the respective tensions developed by the characters’ financial situations are intriguing, the techniques to achieve these tensions are a bit too clumsily heavy-handed. Unfortunately, nothing about Tze Chun’s Cold Comes the Night is even remotely believable. Chun hopelessly attempts to justify Chloe’s recklessly naive decisions by repeatedly reminding us of her desperation to acquire a lot of money soon, but it all just turns out to be ridiculously laughable — and Topo’s actions are no less humorous.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Alice Eve and Bryan Cranston a lot. They both deserve to be offered more starring roles in films, but hopefully in the future they will do a much better job of weeding out clumsy screenplays such as this one.