Paul Schrader’s Dying Of The Light has gone through a whirlwind of interference. In fact, it’s starting to look like this could be another case of a troubled production overshadowing the actual film itself. After Nicolas Winding Refn downshifted from director to executive producer, Schrader set about creating a corking actioner with Nicolas Cage as a CIA agent suffering from dementia. During post-production, the film’s producers previewed an early version and decided it needed a re-edit; without Schrader’s consent. Now we’ve the chance to judge for ourselves if they did a decent job, with the film’s first trailer offering a glimpse at the remains of Schrader’s masterpiece.
Dying of the Light tells the story of Cage’s veteran agent, Evan Lake, who has been forced into retirement. None long after he welds his faux-fur slippers onto his feet and buys a new pipe, he gets a call from his protege, played by Anton Yelchin, who informs him that his former adversary is back.
All in all, it’s not a completely unique premise, but with Schrader working his mojo on it we’re hopeful. Or should I say, we were hopeful. It’s hard to gauge what remains in the finished film that he’d actually be proud of, as he has since abandoned the movie. The preview walks a fine line between regurgitating themes we’ve seen countless times before, with the edgy personal dynamic of Cage’s impending health crisis. The fantastic thing about the actor though is that even when he’s bad… he’s still so damn watchable. If Schrader has one thing going for him on Dying Of The Light, it’s that he appears to have coaxed a brilliant performance from his leading man.
Dying Of The Light opens on December 5th. Check out the plot summary below and trailer above and let us know what you think.
Academy Award® winner* Nicolas Cage ignites a powder keg of action in this electrifying cloak-and-dagger thriller. Evan Lake (Cage), a veteran CIA agent, has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé (Anton Yelchin) uncovers evidence that Lake’s nemesis, the terrorist Banir (Alexander Karim), has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.