HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Dying of the Light Ragin' Agent
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 1639 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: