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Dying of the Light envelops the spark of several intriguing talents, leaving audiences lost in a yawning void of uninspired filmmaking.
All Critics (35)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (3)
| Rotten (32)
In recent years, Paul Schrader has reached the unenviable position where his career has become at least as horribly compelling as the movies that he makes.
"Dying of the Light" is a shrill and bombastic slog, with an all-over-the-map collection of tones that never cohere into a credible or compelling vision.
The rushed and often inchoate execution means there's little in the film that gets the benefit of more than a moment's reflection.
A weirdly misshapen, fitfully intriguing depiction of one man's wayward quest for justice, plainly compromised in ways that only a director's cut could properly illuminate.
On a commercial level, "Dying of the Light" sometimes plays as just another high-concept vehicle for a comically overacting Mr. Cage. But Mr. Schrader's vision is strong enough to rage against the hackier calculations.
Cage's loop-di-loop performance, the movie's surviving asset, at least hints at the themes of institutional illness and mortal decline that must have fascinated Schrader.
A largely conventional thriller about the last-gasp of mission of a die-hard CIA agent that is lent moments of surprising poignancy and glimmers of madness thanks to Nic Cage's performance.
It's just not that bad, especially compared to some of the recent gems in the Cage filmography. Frankly, it probably doesn't even crack the bottom 20.
It's a film full of Cage at his wide-eyed, extreme intensity, but many of the scenes seem to lose the process that made them.
Not much good to say except "Cage, Cage against the dying of the light." Apologies to Dylan Thomas.
despite all the formulaic flaws and re-workings of Schrader's original artistic vision, Cage steals the show.
Nicolas Cage wigs out again as an unhinged CIA agent in this espionage thriller, but this time it's his ragged prosthetic ear rather than his hairpiece that grabs the viewer's attention.
Evan Lake (Nicholas Cage) was a legend at the C.I.A., but after years in the game, and a particularly horrible experience at the hands of the Taliban, he was diagnosed with dementia, and forced into retirement. Lake is moving on with his life when new information comes to light, that his old nemesis, a terrorist leader long believed dead, is back. Knowing their best chance to catch him is Lake, they turn to him for help, but can he keep it together long enough to complete his mission? This unbelievably was a b-movie, yet a remarkably strong performance for Nicholas Cage, who randomly had to go between C.I.A. legend and confused old man. His performance is aided by the late Anton Yelchin, playing an analyst who admires Lake so much, that he goes against orders to help him with his mission. The whole dynamic between the man at the end of his career on his last mission, and the boy at the start of his career on his first mission, really added something different, that you don't typically see in espionage films. Dying of The Light really does have a lot to like about it, but one must remember, it is an espionage film and a direct-to-video one at that. The writing isn't spectacular and parts of it are more than somewhat confusing. They also throw in a lot of Evan's flashbacks and delusions at the completely wrong times, which really did start to bother me as the film got more intense. Overall, I did enjoy this film, I thought the acting was terrific, and I loved the dynamic and chemistry between the two leading men, despite the obvious age difference. Dying of The Light certainly isn't a perfect movie, but it's still an entertaining one.
It's just a simple revenge thriller that never takes off and becomes very stale very quickly, Not a bad acting performance by the cast but with little action and a plot that is over sold there isn't much for people to enjoy I'm afraid.
Absolutely terrible, but since that's exactly how it looks, I guess you could say that this film doesn't disappoint. Worth seeing if you like shitty Nicolas Cage films.
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