Dying of the Light (2014): A Glimpse Into the Future? [Joey’s Review]
DYING OF THE LIGHT is not a particularly notable movie for any reason but one: it’s the first time Nicolas Cage has played an older character. Aside from the possibility that he was *maybe* playing a character 10-15 years younger in RAGE, every #CageClub movie to date has had Cage playing an age-appropriate character.
Dying of the Light begins with Cage at normal age(ish), being tortured by a terrorist (or something) overseas. Two minutes later, we flash forward 22 years, and suddenly Cage is an older man, in the 65-70 year old range, diagnosed with a debilitating form of dementia and potentially about to retire from the CIA. It’s a new look at Cage, and one I’d be much more enthusiastic about if the film around the role was better.
First, the good. Cage plays his dementia-riddled (that’s probably not the appropriate phrase, but whatever) character in a believable and affecting manner, and with the level of respect and commitment you’d hope an actor portraying this type of character would portray.
There’s also an added benefit in the reversal of the father-son dynamic we’ve seen a lot in recent movies. Because he literally cannot control his emotions (or his body) at times, he’s forced to give into the care of his “partner” (not really a full partner, but kind of?), played by Anton Yelchin. I love him in a lot of things, and think he’s fine here, but he’s been better elsewhere.
Now, the bad. As this film falls under the “spy thriller” genre, it’s (at times) needlessly complicated for the sake of the genre. It’s also sort of boring and uneventful at times. Now, I understand this is how spywork is done. You’re not going to be able to find the guy you’re looking for without, say, track the trafficking of a rare medicine used to treat an even rarer disease. But do I need to see this in a movie? Nope.
Dying of the Light isn’t bad, but there isn’t much here worth recommending. It’s cool to see Cage in “white hair face,” but you can see that in pictures. You don’t need to watch a movie to see that. His performance is good, but it’s normally very good. It’s notable here because of his approach to his dementia, but not notable enough to make this movie worth seeing.
How can I watch it? It’s on Amazon.
What’s up next? It’s time for the first Cage movie released since #CageClub began: THE RUNNER!