Blacklight (Review)

⭐ (Terrible)

Director: Mark Williams
Starring: Liam Neeson, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Taylor John Smith, Aidan Quinn, Claire van der Boom
Certificate: 15
Run Time: 104 mins

Blacklight is Liam Neeson’s latest action vehicle, re-teaming with Honest Thief director Mark Williams. Neeson stars as Travis Block, a Vietnam War veteran turned FBI fixer. He extracts undercover agents from difficult situations but wants to spend more time with his daughter, Amanda (Claire van der Boom) and granddaughter Natalie (Gabriella Sengos). When Block is tasked with bringing in undercover FBI Agent Dusty Crane (Taylor John Smith), a web of conspiracy ensues. 

Although Neeson has his detractors for his action era, I believe he picks interesting projects. The original Taken was a lean and mean thrill-ride and A Walk Among The Tombstones oozes in grit and substance. Run All Night has surprising style and Cold Pursuit revels in its dark humour. I’ve even got time for some of his lesser works directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and Taken 2 at a push. 

Unfortunately, Blacklight is a total disaster and has virtually no redeeming qualities. Neeson tries to make the best of a bad situation but even he can’t convince audiences with some terrible lines. It’s offensively bland in its direction, the supporting performances are embarrassing and the storyline nonsensical. Taylor John Smith and Aidan Quinn are particularly poor in their roles and Claire van der Boom’s character struck me as borderline psychotic to be a mother. 

Blacklight is marketed as an action thriller and yet, only really contains two action sequences. Even if the storyline is poor, action sequences can pass the time well but this film doesn’t have that. It’s a total chore to sit through, despite only being 104 minutes and I lost patience very early on into the film. 

Blacklight is an utter dud in Neeson’s action catalogue and is terrible in pretty much every respect. It manages to make Taken 3, a film in which no-one actually gets taken, look like a masterpiece. Luckily in the UK, it’s not being released theatrically and is heading straight to Sky Cinema, so you can very easily avoid it.  

⭐ (Terrible)


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