Directed and co-written by American Mark Williams (Honest Thief, A Family Man), Blacklight is another film in a seemingly endless string of the ageless wonder Liam Neeson starring in an action film. Stuck in a rut of playing very similar characters in film after film, Neeson is turning 70 years old this summer, so I guess he is trying to cash in on this type of role while he is still able to move…but really I am kinda done with the believability of a man (or anyone) his age doing the things asked of in action films. But they keep coming out so I guess there is someone somewhere buying into Neeson beating people up. But remember when Neeson starred in films like Schindler’s List and Michael Collins?
Williams adapted a script from a film from the 70s in making Blacklight. Under Cover of Darkness centered around President Nixon’s White House and an actual FBI surveillance program. There is a little change up or maybe modernizing here with the FBI and conspiracy remaining.
Not what you would think of as your typical FBI agent, Travis Block (Liam Neeson – Darkman, Rob Roy) operates in the shadows. He is an off-the-book fixer of sorts. Used to not exactly following the rules, this is something different even for Block as he finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy.
Block, who has plenty of skeletons in his own closet, begins to question what he does and who he works for, including the Director of the FBI, Gabriel Robinson (Aidan Quinn – Legends of the Fall, Practical Magic). He is going to attempt to locate the missing agent while at the same time trying to figure out what the truth is.
You would think because Neeson has done so many of this type of film he would seek something a little different. Not so apparently. This is a colour by numbers action film. Totally formulaic. Plus a lot of implausible moments throughout. So much so I think through a lot of this film that boredom is etched on Neeson’s face. Even he does not seem to be into it.
The only way you are going to squeeze some enjoyment out of this film is by going in with basement-level expectations. Though maybe some who today seem to be reliving the paranoia brought on by the buying into a plethora of conspiracy theories will like this film. Most of us won’t, however.