TL;DR – An action film that wastes a lot of its runtime, forgetting it is an action film.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this film
Blacklight Review –
As we continue our run to the end of the year, I thought I would continue my catch-up by continuing my look at Liam Neeson’s after yesterday’s Memory. This time around, we have an action film where Liam is an undercover expert caught up in a grand conspiracy
So to set the scene, we open with a politician Sofia Flores (Melanie Jarnson) is giving an empowering speech about bringing politics back to the people and stopping the cooperate interests that are disenfranchising people. Still, later that night, she is run down by an assassin. Meanwhile, in Rural America, Travis Block (Liam Neeson) is extricating a deep undercover operative from a mission gone wrong. He wants to step away from this life and spend more time with his family, but one last mission to extricate Dusty Crane (Taylor John Smith) goes pear-shaped, and now he is in the fight of his life.
While it is a mess sometimes, there are some strengths in-between all the rest. The first is Liam Neeson. While he is not given much to work with here, what he does with it works in this film. To go along with this, I liked Emmy Raver-Lampman as Mira Jones, the journalist that gets caught up in it all. Also, we get some serviceable henchmen and a bad guy that knows what sort of film he is in. The action scenes work mostly well, and hey, who doesn’t like a Home Alone situation with guns?
Of the many problems with this film, the first is the structure. From the first couple of minutes in, we know there is a problem, which probably goes to the very heights of power in America. However, now that the audience knows, the film takes over forty minutes to kick into gear whilst it panders and postures around. It becomes frustrating for the audience once you have revealed your hand and spent so much time before returning to it, which means that when the film finally gets into the meat of it all, it has to rush through all its exposition.
To add to this, unfortunately, you can see the places where the budget did limit them somewhat. One such example is the opening confrontation with the racist rednecks. Travis Block rigs some gas canasters to explode in one of the trailers to defuse the situation. Unfortunately, due to the compositing, if it was digital, or the way they filmed it, if it was practical, made the effect stand out as being awkward. Also, for a film set in America, this is aggressively Australian. Though I feel this is what everyone who lives in Los Angeles must go through, and let’s be honest, cooking the pasta before starting the sauce is an odd choice.
In the end, do we recommend Blacklight? Unfortunately no. There are moments here where you feel like it was almost coming together into something bigger than it was, but unfortunately, they dissipate into the ether during the runtime and lead to an underwhelming conclusion. If you liked Blacklight, we would recommend to you The Gray Man.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Blacklight
Directed by – Mark Williams
Story by – Nick May & Brandon Reavis
Screenplay by – Nick May & Mark Williams
Music by – Mark Isham
Cinematography by – Shelly Johnson
Edited by – Michael P. Shawver
Production/Distribution Companies – Zero Gravity Management, Footloose Productions, The Solution Entertainment Group, Sina Studios, Fourstar Films, Elevate Production Finance, Film Victoria, Lightstream Pictures Australia, Screen Australia, Briarcliff Entertainment & Rialto Distribution
Starring – Liam Neeson, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Taylor John Smith, Aidan Quinn, Claire van der Boom, Yael Stone, Tim Draxl, Georgia Flood, Melanie Jarnson, Andrew Shaw, Zac Lemons, Gabriella Sengos & Daniel Turbill
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12; United States: PG-13