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Review: Nicolas Cage In Paul Schrader's CIA Thriller DYING OF THE LIGHT - Movies In Focus
Paul Schrader’s best screenplays have always been about internal struggles and he returns to this theme again with Dying of the Light. The film features Nicolas Cage’s best performance this decade, as Evan Lake, a terminally ill CIA agent who seeks revenge on the terrorist who tortured and traumatised him. Cage attacks the material with subtlety, wringing emotion and pathos from Schrader’s script. Meanwhile, the writer-director delivers a film that eschews Bourne-like action for dramatics, giving the film a feel that places it right beside the paranoia films of the ‘70s. Schrader has been trying to get Dying of the Light made for nearly a decade, with Harrison Ford and Robert DeNiro both being attached to the film over the years and producer Nicolas Widing Refn was even set to direct when Ford was in the frame. Nicolas Cage may not have the curmudgeonly gravitas of Ford or DeNiro, but he more than makes this material his own. Cage is often lambasted for his over-the-top performances, but he keeps things low key here, displaying a different side as the ageing CIA operative. Anton Yelchin is somewhat miscast as Cage’s protege, he’s a touch too young to be like his confidant [...]