“Dying of the Light”


GREEN JEANS MOVIE REVIEW: A few nights ago, I sat down with Captain Critic to watch “Dying of the Light,” which stars Nicolas Cage (Left Behind [2014], The Wicker Man [2006]), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Beyond, Green Room), Alexander Karem (Zero Dark Thirty, Tyrant [TV series]), and Irene Jacob (Three Colors: Red, The Double Life of Veronique). It was written and directed by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull). Evan Lake (Cage), an admired and award-winning CIA agent, is threatened by a diagnosis of dementia, prompting him to finish one last case that has been on his mind for twenty-two years: killing the terrorist, thought to be dead, who tortured him.


Hooray, another Nic Cage film, and the year isn’t over yet! Just like “Left Behind,” I picked this bad boy up in the five dollar bin at Wal-Mart, expecting greatness to unfold on my screen. Sure enough, I got what I asked for: a heaping mess. With a plot that could drag its viewers along the pavement and acting that could make a blind man cry, there is a ton of things to admire about this feature, like learning how to not make a movie. Honestly, I’m exaggerating this release’s horribleness; it’s really just a mopey, sorry excuse for something meant to be memorable. From watching the bonus features of this film (which Captain Critic and I graciously sat through), I could tell that the writer wanted something more epic than what he conjured up. It’s visible in his writing, with its speeches and “words of wisdom.” However, the story couldn’t be more of a hollow piece if a woodpecker pecked away at it. Almost all of the characters have no purpose and the means of reaching our destination were too simplistic to be produced. Nicolas Cage leads a cast of almost-nobody’s, aside from Anton Yelchin, and does what he does best. It’s funny, because when his character is diagnosed with dementia, the symptoms described to him by the doctor are essentially excuses to forgive his overacting. Of course, Cage acted delusional, flipping the script and his sanity to the point of no return. It’s what I expected, and wanted, but it can’t be regarded as Oscar-worthy. The rest of the cast, as I’ve stated before, were just about useless. Yelchin’s character seemed like there was something more behind him, but oddly enough there wasn’t. He was simply a partner used to aid Cage when he went delusional. On top of that, Yelchin didn’t do that good at all in his performance. His way of delivering dialogue was beyond annoying and as fake as plastic fruit. Really, the only thing to take from his character is a funny impression. His and Cage’s mission was bland from the start. It follows the same beats that we have seen before in vendetta films, except this one chooses a cheap knock-off route. It was so lifeless that I actually tuned in and out of it, so when I payed attention, it was difficult to keep up with. As if I needed to anyway, because the reasoning behind our characters’ actions were hard to follow regardless. Cage’s hunt for an old foe was the only thing to hold onto, and even that became a jumbled mess towards the end. Speaking of the conclusion, this film dragged on for fifteen minutes longer than it should’ve. Cage not only meets his enemy once, but twice, causing the first encounter to be confusing and meaningless and the second to just be worthless. Nothing mattered, and it felt like the writer even confused himself, as he simply tied up this release in a cheesy, non-sentimental speech he used earlier in an attempt to push all the meaningless crap under the rug. There isn’t much to say that is good about this movie; really, the best compliment that I can give it is how I was content with what I saw and how it didn’t feel like complete trash. In the end, this is another typical direct-to-video Cage movie, filled with a mediocre plot, bad acting, and silly action, all in an attempt to earn more cash. If you are into watching bad Nic Cage flicks, like myself (hey, I have guilty pleasures), then go ahead and check this one out; otherwise, steer clear, or your light might just die (whatever that means). FINAL SCORE: 48%= Burnt Popcorn

This movie has been inducted into The Burnt Hall of Shame.

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““Dying of the Light”

  1. Pingback: December Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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