HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dying of the Light Ragin' AgentBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Anton Yelchin, Alexander Karim, Irène Jacob, Adetomiwa Edun, Aymen Hamdouchi, Claudius Peters, Robert G. Slade, Geff Francis, Silas Carson, Serban Celea, Derek Ezenagu, Sharif Sharbek, Tim Silano, David Lipper, George Remes
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Evan Lake (Nicolas Cage) is a C.I.A. agent who has been relegated to a desk job ever since he was tortured by a terrorist while in the field, leaving him with a disfigured ear and possible mental trauma he may have never come to terms with after all this time. His forte is delivering the recruitment speeches for the new admissions into the Agency's training programme, something he does with skill and passion, but he wishes he could do something more: he's a man of action, not somebody who should be stuck in an office day in day out. However, soon he will receive some unwelcome news about his health which will place his whole career in jeopardy, not to mention his mental outlook...

Although they had it as part of their contract that they were not allowed to complain about any aspect of the finished film when it was released lest they adversely harm its box office potential, the makers of Dying of the Light, who included star Cage, director Paul Schrader and producer Nicolas Winding Refn, made it pretty clear it had been taken out of their hands during post production and turned into a generic thriller that would not be out of place lurking in the straight to DVD section, or the lower reaches of the internet streaming service of your choice. Although by this stage in his career Cage was not so much of a surprise to appear in something like that, others involved still retained a certain artistic cachet.

Fair enough, Schrader's effort immediately previous to this had been the apparently cynical headline grab of The Canyons, but he had made bold choices in his work, and his screenwriting prowess in particular was well thought of. Refn too was coming off a flop with Only God Forgives, but his cult following was as fervent as ever, so what was it about this film that prompted the money men to lose all faith in these talents and decide to iron out any interesting creases that might have generated one of Schrader's provocative character studies? Nobody seemed one hundred percent sure, but it would appear they were expecting an action thriller and what they got was, well, one of those moody character-based dramas the director preferred to make.

Never mind that if the studio had left well alone they might have had a minor hit on their hands instead of a dud that hardly anyone was satisfied with, but by playing it safe what you had assuredly earned the disdain of its original creators who urged their fans, or anyone really, not to bother watching Dying of the Light. Even then it was difficult to make out what was supposed to be interesting about this in the first place, with such idiosyncrasies as Anton Yelchin's agent, the only friend in the Agency Evan has, coming across like a figment of his now vivid and damaged imagination, only to have other characters interacting with him so no point of interest there, then. What Lake has is a degenerative disease akin to dementia, but even so it doesn't affect him that much.

He might get the occasional shaky hand or blackout, but he's still the ageing he-man who now has a purpose in life, or what's left of it, when he realises his old nemesis, an Islamic terrorist, could still be alive and not dead as everyone thought. Surely this alert will energise the C.I.A. and he will be dispatched to bring this man down? But though he is correct, Muhammad Banir (Alexander Karim) is indeed living on, he is in as physically poor health as Lake which offered an interesting perspective on a world where the West and the enemies of freedom or whatever you want to call them have fought one another to a standstill and will both wither and die at each other's throats as they both gasp for their last breaths. That would be an intriguing look at a global problem, yet in this version it's buried under bland visuals (cinematographer Gabriel Kosuth actually broke the no criticism embargo), tinny music, and anything that might indicate the slightest depth beyond cheerleading for the United States eliminated. Schrader and his allies were right: there was nothing to see here.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1137 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Paul Schrader  (1946 - )

American writer and director, a former critic, who specialises in troubled souls. After writing Taxi Driver for Martin Scorcese (who has also filmed Schrader's Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead) he made his directorial debut with Blue Collar. Although this was not a happy experience, he was not discouraged, and went on to give us Hardcore, American Gigolo, a remake of Cat People, Mishima, The Comfort of Strangers, Light Sleeper, Affliction, Auto Focus and a doomed Exorcist sequel. After the latter his output became troubled in films like The Canyons or Dying of the Light, but First Reformed won him his best reactions in years. He also scripted The Yakuza and Old Boyfriends with his brother Leonard Schrader.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: