I am tempted to just create a "Liam Neeson Movie" review template, where I could save my self time and trouble by simply inserting Liam's character name, occupation and co-stars into the review.
This Academy Award nominated actor seems completely content to fill his current schedule with one throw-away action flick after another. "Cold Pursuit." "The Commuter." "Honest Thief." "The Marksman." "The Ice Road." And now "Blacklight." All of them trying to recreate the success of Neeson's 2008 film "Taken," but none of them sticking the landing.
Apparently there is still a market for action thrillers starring a nearly 70-year-old man, and if any of these other aforementioned movies were up your alley, then most likely you'll also approve of "Blacklight."
Neeson reteams with his "Honest Thief" director Mark Williams for "Blacklight," where Neeson's character, Travis Block, "has a certain set of skills." This time he is a federal operative who specializes in extracting undercover agents who have gotten themselves in too deep. After one particular mission, Block finds himself caught up in a conspiratorial plot against American citizens, and discovers (gasp!) that there are very bad, corrupt people in the upper echelons of the U.S. government.
This is as bland and generic as an action movie comes. Neeson is charming enough...grunting and grimacing his way through to yet another paycheck. His character is not very interesting, the plot is arbitrary and predictable, and the action sequences are lame and uninspired. You would need to hold a black light up to find even the faintest trace of excitement in "Blacklight."
Neeson is at his best when outside of these types of roles, but apparently he is comfortable further exploiting the genre and diminishing the overall quality of his filmography. Here's hoping that there are better roles than this in his bright future.
Genre: Action, Thriller.
Run Time: 1 hour 48 minutes.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Taylor John Smith, Claire van der Boom, Emmy Raver-Lampman.
Directed by Mark Williams ("Honest Thief").
"Blacklight" is in theaters on Friday, February 11th, 2022.
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