A troubled off-the-books fixer for the FBI, Travis Block (Liam Neeson), tasked with pulling undercover agents out of dangerous situations, finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy when an undercover agent starts questioning the very people he’s working for. Block, must not only track down the agent, but also find out the truth. A truth that may strain even his questionable moral code.
Neeson and director Mark Williams team up again after The Honest Thief, for another action thriller to add to the actor’s ever-growing filmography. The problem with Liam’s career choices, ever since Taken 3, is that his performances lack the depth he’s proven to be able to bring to the table when he’s not performing the same rehashed conversations in the same old action thriller setting.
I personally can’t be mad at the man for cashing in on something he can do in his sleep. I just wish the director and writers would elevate something so cookie cutter as yet another secret agent gone rogue. The most interesting thing about Blacklight is its whistleblower angle, in which FBI agent Dusty Crane (Taylor John Smith – Shadow in the Cloud) contacts a journalist hungry for a hit article.
The Umbrella Academy‘s Emmy Raver-Lampman plays journalist Mira Jones, and honestly, is the best thing about this film. I’m not the biggest fan of the Netflix show she stars in, but she has me convinced of her talents on screen by just watching her act in this. Another familiar face, Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), opens the film with an intense scene at a trailer park, where Neeson has to save the undercover agent from rioting racists, but is never seen again after that.
There’s glimpses of ingenuity, that keep you wanting more, but after a promising first half, Blacklight just turns into yet another Taken knockoff.
IN CINEMAS FEBRUARY 10
Reviewed February 9, 2022 (screener provided by Rialto Distribution). Rating: TBC. Running time: 108 min.
PRODUCTION: A Rialto Distribution release of a Zero Gravity Management, Footloose Productions, The Solution Entertainment Group, Film Victoria, Lightstream Pictures Australia & Screen Australia production, in association with Sina Studios, Fourstar Films & Elevation Production Finance. Producers: Paul Currie, Allie Loh, Coco Xiaolu Ma, Myles Nestel & Mark Williams. Executive producers: Domenic Benvenuto, Jim Cardwell, Craig Chapman, Zhe Chen, James Michael Cummings, Craig McMahon, Paul Saleba & Lisa Wilson.
CREW: Director: Mark Williams. Writers: Nick May, Mark Williams & Brandon Reavis. Editing: Michael P. Shawver. Cinematography: Shelly Johnson. Music: Mark Isham.
CAST: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Taylor John Smith, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Claire van der Boom, Yael Stone, Andrew Shaw, Zac Lemons, Gabriella Sengos & Tim Draxl.