Last year I did a review on a movie called Honest Thief in which I remarked about how Liam Neeson has carved out a little niche for himself, where he plays an unlikely hero in fast-paced action films. Movies where he can seemingly do just about anything. Blacklight is another movie in that vein. In fact, it was written and directed by Mark Williams, who wrote and directed Honest Thief. This might become an annual pairing between the actor and director if this trend continues
Blacklight centers around Travis Block. Travis is a Vietnam War veteran that works for the FBI as a fixer. He brings in undercover agents that are in over their heads or have become a risk and need to be pulled out by force.
He is assigned to bring in an undercover FBI agent that has been talking to a reporter. The agent gets killed before Travis can get to him, but he teams up with the reporter (played by Emmy Raver-Lampman) and follows a trail that reveals illegal corruption from within the FBI that got the agent he was after killed. Now Travis has to get proof of the crimes before the corrupt agents can take him out.
Blacklight: What I Liked and Didn’t Like
What I Liked
The acting. Neeson has really perfected the action film character. It might be pretty much the same every time but he’s always captivating and know how to keep your attention. Raver-Lampman (she is probably best known for the stage version of Hamilton) is solid as the reporter Mira Jones. She is able to keep up with Neeson and not get lost in the shuffle. Anthony Quinn is one of the most fun actors to watch. Quinn has spent most of his career playing a good guy so when he plays a villain and really goes for it, it’s just a pleasure to watch.
Action. There is a ton of action. More than I have seen in a film in a while. The action is fast-paced and drives the film forward. There’s always something happening and Neeson embraces the part of taking on multiple (sometimes too many) bad guys at the same time.
What I Didn’t Like
The story isn’t very well conceived or executed. It’s not bad, really, but there are just certain points in the film where it just seems implausible, or you think to yourself “why didn’t you just do this or that?” but this wasn’t intended to be a high art film. It’s mainly an action film and you see those little things pop up in these kinds of films.
This release was filmed in digital, so there is very little to complain about on that end. The video is in 1080p with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The colors are strong, and the images have a sharp focus, good depth, and are clean and free from defects. The audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. Dialogue is clear and blends with the score and effects well.
The release is somewhat minimal on extras but does have a couple of featurettes
• Blacklight: Behind the Scenes
• Shooting Blacklight
Blacklight is another entry into the Liam Neeson action drama that fits well. There’s nothing that really stands out as an amazing movie, but it does provide a lot of action and Neeson plays the part well. If you liked his previous action films and like seeing him in that genre you will probably enjoy this one.
Blacklight is currently available from Universal Home Entertainment
Blacklight Blu-Ray Review: B