If "Dying of the Light" becomes veteran writer-director Paul Schrader's last film — the
Schrader's name is still on the film, but it's hard to believe the choppy result reflects his vision, which has often in the past ("American Gigolo," "Mishima," "Light Sleeper," "Affliction") found stark poetry in male outsiders.
The title is, of course, literal verse, taken from Dylan Thomas, and in one sense, Cage's ferocious, enjoyably brusque turn reflects the actor's own "rage, rage against" the steep fade of his own indiscriminately handled career.
Cage's loop-di-loop performance, the movie's surviving asset, at least hints at the themes of institutional illness and mortal decline that must have fascinated Schrader.
"Dying of the Light"
MPAA rating: R for violence, language.
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes.