Cold Comes the Night
Alice Eve bids to be taken seriously by playing downtrodden single mum and half-a-horse town motel owner Chloe. Under the protection of bent copper Billy (Logan Marshall-Green), the local hookers utilise Chloe’s highway rest-stop to service passing trade. With a social worker threatening to remove her sprog from this less-than-salubrious situation, Chloe sees an opportunity to get out when the shady, improbably-accented Topol (Bryan Cranston) and chum come looking for a room.
Writer-director Tze Chun’s picture starts off as a mildly diverting tick box exercise in 90s neo-noir cliché (cultural backwater, mismatched criminal duo, stash of cash…) but as the silliness gets ramped up and performances collide the film becomes less interesting. Eve carries things well in kitchen sink mode, but Cranston’s bizarre turn as the hackneyed Russian-for-no-reason mid-level crook seems lifted from a bad SNL sketch and demolishes her decent work. Likewise Marshall-Green, increasingly hysterical and slimy to the point of total ridiculousness, is a major contributing factor in the derailed third act where plot contrivance, bloodshed and lots of shouting prompt only ennui.