The ingredients are all present, but the ultimate dish is brought down by an imbalance storytelling and a lead who simply copies and pastes his performance from previous outings.
Government “fixer” Travis Block (Liam Neeson) is tipped off to program within the FBI that is targeting U.S. citizens, leading him to an action-packed showdown with FBI chief Robinson (Aidan Quinn) that threatens those closest to him in Blacklight. Mark William’s latest is a tense, loose political thriller that is heavy on the action almost to a fault. There are seeds of intrigue placed throughout the film, but it all comes across jumbled and over-the-top. Perhaps it is Neeson’s familiar performance, ripe with ridiculously-delivered dialogue and clear signs of his age, that distracts. In fact, with a different lead and a bit more background to substantiate the core plot, Blacklight could have been great.
There is no denying that Neeson is a draw; older generations flock to see him no matter how cookie cutter his acting has become. My mother is a prime example, someone who is always excited to see his films as I approach with caution. Williams has a talent that is being squandered by underdeveloped stories and less than dynamic performances from the leads meant to carry his films. Blacklight is no exception. Also, I still don’t understand the title.
Blacklight hits theaters on Friday.
Photo from IMDb