Writer: Paul Schrader (Screenplay)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Anton Yelchin, Alexander Karim, Irene Jacob, Aymen Hamdouchi, Claudius Peters, Adetomiwa Edum
Plot: When a devastating illness threatens to end Evan Lake’s career in the CIA, he goes rogue to hunt down a terrorist who tortured him during a mission gone awry years ago.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Burner
Story: Dying of the Light starts by showing Evan Lake (Cage) undercover getting tortured by his captive. Flash forward 22 years and Evan is one of the most decorated members of the CIA moulding the minds of the latest crop of young agents. Evan is pushing retirement age and stuck at a desk job while he wants to get back into the field work but keeps getting shunned. Young agent Milton (Yelchin) offers him support. Move to Bucharest where a terrorist hunt leads to documents becoming uncovered that fall into Milton hands. Evan gets diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia which will cause him to have side effects in his everyday life.
Milton gives Evan the information that his long time enemy Muhammad Banir (Karim) is still alive even though he has been told by everyone that he has been long time dead. CIA wants to force Evan to retire early because of his illness and don’t want to let him go after Banir, leading to him getting fired. Milton shows his loyalty to Evan by bringing him the evidence that could lead him to find Banir, but Banir is aware his doctor could be the connection the CIA are looking for. Evan and Milton travel to Romania to bring the case together to go and take down Banir once and for all.
Dying of the Light is one of those investigation thrillers that falls into the category of a lot of talking and a flash bang wallop quick ending. The side of the story that is vastly more interesting in how the characters both Evan and Muhammad are dealing with different illness and both won’t live much longer as well both feeling like they were left incomplete with the meeting 22 years ago. This side of the story shines through over all the thrilling or lack of thrilling side to the investigation. This will end up going down as a mediocre thriller and as both the director and Nicolas Cage are slamming the editing I don’t think many people will remember it. (5/10)
Nicolas Cage: Evan Lake one of the most decorated CIA agents in their history, he is reaching retirement age but get diagnosed with Dementia and with his final moments he wants to take down his remaining enemy Banir. Nicolas does a good job and does well with the mental condition his character has to go through. (7/10)
Anton Yelchin: Milton Schultz young agent who wants to help Evan, he gives him evidence that Banir is still alive and teams up with Evan to take him down. Anton is a bigger name that this needless supporting role where he really offers nothing to the story. (4/10)
Alexander Karim: Muhammad Banir terrorist that Evan is after, long thought dead he is suffering from a disease that exposes him still being alive. Alexander does a solid job with what little he has to work with. (6/10)
Support Cast: Dying of the Light supporting cast is the CIA members trying to shut down Evan who all come off generic. Along with contacts who help track down Banir and the people involved with him. They all do what they need to do for the story but nothing more.
Director Review: Paul Schrader – Paul does a good job balance the two but sometimes the investigation side feels slow, but I read the film isn’t how he chose it to be so will not criticize him. (7/10)
Drama: Dying of the Light shows how the characters deal with the illness as they look for competition in their lives work. (7/10)
Thriller: Dying of the Light tries to pull you in but too many things make this unbelievable for a thriller. (4/10)
Settings: Dying of the Light uses its settings well but nothing that makes for stand out. (5/10)
Suggestion: Dying of the Light is one to try, it isn’t going to amaze but you could enjoy this one. (Try It)
Best Part: The final moments makes you think it was worth the wait.
Worst Part: Drags through the middle.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $5 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
Overall: Dying to be Good