Veteran CIA agent Evan Lake has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé uncovers evidence that Lake's nemesis, the terrorist Banir, has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy. Written by
Cinematographer Gabriel Kosuth publicly disowned this released version of the film: On 8 December 2014 he published a guest column on Variety.com in which he wrote that he "...was denied the possibility to accomplish in post-production what is any cinematographer's duty: from the American Cinematographer Manual:] 'assuring that what audiences will see on cinema and television screens faithfully reflects the 'look' intended by the director'." Kosuth further explained the significant digital alterations made by the producers to his cinematography in post-production: "The film we shot had images with strong, violent colors and was dark. This one is not. (...) Paul Schrader wanted color to play an unusual, extremely important role in the visual style of his movie. An expressionistic approach where color doesn't just represent moods and feelings, but meanings and symbols. This is why he insisted that color should be embedded in the very fiber of the image - using filters on lenses and colored lights - so that we were not merely catching colors on film, but truly sculpting the picture with color. The moment you try to 're-paint' or modify such a thing, it is supposed to crash to pieces. And this is what has happened to Dying of the Light (2014) - an unpleasant and tragic demonstration of the limits to the so-called wonders of digital post-production. By surgically eliminating the expressionistic color from the image - the pasty yellow-green of the African scenes, the dense sepia-chocolate of the American ones, and the bluish-green from the European ones - an unknown author has offered the public not only a crippled caricature of everything, but a collection of images deprived of soul, emotion and significance. (...) As pretentious as it may sound, the reality is that color affects not only the perception of the artist's world on screen, but the perception of an actor's performance too: Eyes, skin, make-up, hair, come to us in an 'intended' emotional color. (For those who don't believe, try watching Apocalypse Now (1979) in black-and-white.) The unbalancing of a well thought 'color formula' has the effect of mutilating not only atmosphere, composition, and centers of interest in the frame, but also detailed production design, costume and make-up concepts all based on that original formula. I'm writing this letter because I'm trying to understand why would someone deliberately ruin such a visual expression. Just because it's possible? By pushing some magical buttons at a console, or because of some kind of aesthetic Daltonism? Why would someone damage something achieved with unknown effort and sleepless nights? Just because there are people today who cannot take a human activity called artistic creation seriously?" See more »
When the terrorist has his throat cut in the fight scene, the second after his body is turned on the belly and the throat is shown totally bloodless. See more »
This isn't a spy movie it's a disaster movie and the disaster is the movie. The only high points are when the no longer remotely sexy but nevertheless intelligent and interesting Irène Jacob appears. It makes you realize that there is a woman who has Helen Mirren or Charlotte Rampling potential (that's the interesting part). Some may object that Mirren and Rampling are still hot. Then Jacob is definitely your gal. Me, I enjoy their conversation, not their decrepitude.
Anton Yelchin is totally miscast and his part is a train wreck. First he's a nerdy eager beaver goody two shoes then he suddenly becomes a totally unconvincing cold Rambo killer, except when he has to physically engage the bad guy, at which point he reverts to the nerdy 70-pound weakling. His mousy baby face is suited to neither of those roles and he doesn't manage to pull off the innocent-looking tough guy act; in fact it seems never to have occurred to him to try.
As for Nick Cage, he takes his usual gawky, brooding, bipolar demeanor to its logical conclusion and totally loses it, both as the character he plays and the way he plays him. He is all over the place.
The movie as a whole has a Walmart look, as if the producers anticipated that it would bomb and cut costs to the bone. No doubt that's why it is located in, or rather outsourced to, Romania.
The rest of the cast and the thin, thin plot of the movie, the less said the better off we are all.
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