Plot: What’s it about?
I realize I have said in countless reviews of Liam Neeson films that I am surprised that the star is still churning out action flicks after announcing his retirement from them. I’ll admit that I am personally glad he continues to do so as I have become a regular viewer of his. Heck, as of this writing I just watched his latest film, Memory theatrically. I compare it to my commitment to the Fast and Furious series. I can nitpick them and be a critic all day long, but I watch solely for the entertainment value. Sadly, Blacklight becomes one of the weaker Neeson entries to date and just a lousy excuse for a film if I am being totally honest. I just think of all the scripts to toggle through, how and why did he land on such a stinker. Maybe he saw something in it. Maybe it looked good on paper, but either way, you can safely skip this one. Let’s read on, shall we?
Neeson plays Travis Block. His special set of skills in this film have him acting as a “fixer” for the US government with the primary objective of keeping things under the radar. Block discovers a program called “Operation Unity” and discovers some shady business going on. This acts as something of a conflict for him as he does have some morals. This leads him to contact a journalist, and they team up to try and uncover the truth behind this program. Truth be told, there’s a LOT going on in this film, but sadly there just isn’t a need to care about a single plot point or character here. I can forgive a murky plot to a point if the action or other things keep me, but this one just didn’t cut it.
I mentioned at the beginning of my review that as of this writing I saw Neeson’s latest film, Memory in theaters. I’m not here to review that film (though I plan to at some point), but that, while far from great, at least held me with it. I guess he’s just becoming a bit more sporadic these days, even though I still have enjoyed much of his recent efforts. Sadly, Blacklight has so few redeeming qualities that I just can’t justify anyone spending their precious time on it. It’s busy, noisy, and frantic, but nothing makes much sense, and nothing holds any entertainment value. I checked my watch often and was mostly bored stiff during this stinker. Skip it.
Video: How’s it look?
With the wider 2.39:1 ratio, we at least get all the image we need for a film like this. I will give my usual remarks about how the image looks fine and pristine, because well…it does. There weren’t any major detractors I could think of. Details and colors all stacked up and this provided some good images.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Also strong is the DTS HD track. Vocals were fine and crisp and the action scattered throughout the film kept things engaging. That is at least in terms of a listening point of view. Remember that this film is a turd.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Blacklight: Behind the Scenes – In the “been there, done that” department we’ve got this “making of…” featurette that gives us exactly what we thought it would: some quips from the actors, some behind the scenes footage and an overall non-informative feature.
- Shooting Blacklight – Essentially the same as the above, only with a little (note: a little) more substance.
The Bottom Line
I’ve seen worse action films than Blacklight, but I have also seen much better. There’s just nothing here to connect with. The plot is murky and confusing and despite all the action, the film is quite boring much of the time. Skip it and seek out one of Neeson’s many other action flicks instead.