HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K 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 877 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
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: