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This is a dark movie. Not only for its content; it's literally dim for
most of the movie. I guess it's meant to provide an atmosphere that
parallels what is happening in Evan Lake's (Nicolas Cage) mind, and the
murky atmosphere is one of the few things Dying of the Light has going
for it. The plot is this: Lake works for the C.I.A. and is experiencing
some mental twitches in his old age like hallucinations, lapses in
memory, and the works, which obviously isn't ideal for a C.I.A.
operative, so he has to go rogue. He has flashbacks to a mission he was
part of that scarred his psyche - he was tortured for information, and
flashbacks to this scene happen over the course of the movie, and Evan
won't stop until he finds and kills his former captor. Nicolas Cage
carries this movie on his shoulders because his character is really the
only semi-developed part about it. Granted, one interesting character
is not nearly enough to save this gloomy mess of a film.
I can't blame writer/director Paul Schrader because he and the
producers had some sort of fallout and the producers ended up changing
a bunch of stuff in post-production, so I blame the producers. The
editing is horrendous, the action sequences are intermittent and
awkward, no character other than Cage's is interesting in the least,
some scenes are too melodramatic, others are just dull. I mean you can
tell this movie has more layers than it lets on, but it never goes deep
beneath the surface like you want it to. It plays it relatively safe
and straightforward despite having an interesting premise and an
Now, Nicolas Cage can definitely pull off the salt-and-pepper look.
Especially when he goes full on Arab (or whatever it was) with a badass
goatee and tinted glasses. He really encapsulates the part of Evan, and
it's by far the deepest and most flawed character Cage has portrayed in
a while. The problem is that we don't see enough of him. We don't have
a chance to get attached to this character on more than a surface level
because the pacing of this movie is so terrible. On a scene-by-scene
basis, it's extremely hard to keep track of what's going on, of what's
important and what isn't. It just becomes a headache after a while and
you just want to see Cage kick some ass, and he kind of does, for like
a minute anyway.
The climax is incredibly underwhelming. It's just like, here, this is
the end. There's no impact. No reason to care. The antagonist is
garbage. Cage's sidekick is boring. None of it is memorable. The movie
has so many cool ideas that it alludes to (Evan's dementia and how it
impacts his work) that are never delved into deeper. I wanted to hear
more monologues from Cage - more scenes of just him battling his
psyche. Anything to pull this movie from boredom. Unfortunately, it
This movie isn't worth it. Even for die hard Cage fans such as myself,
Dying of the Light is hard to sit through despite an engaging
performance by Cage. Any time Cage is off-screen, the movie loses all
intrigue. That's not a good sign. If only a director's cut was able to
see the light of day, then maybe the Dying of the Light wouldn't be
such a tedious mess. As it stands, it's just a very forgettable misfire
of a film.
Tags for Dying of the Light Full Movie
, Anton Yelchin
, Irène Jacob
, Nicolas Cage
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