Just from the Blacklight trailer I knew this Liam Neeson suspense film would be a repeat of Taken (2009), Non-Stop (2014), Run All Night (2015), and other Neeson films about time running out to save someone or something. Despite the repetitiveness, Neeson can still pull these films off. He’s an outstanding actor with the attitude, the mindset, and the seriousness that has served him well for many years. But Blacklight, unfortunately, is far from his best film.
In Blacklight, Neeson is Travis Block, a government operative trying to walk away from a past that has haunted him. His world is turned upside down when he realizes his former director, Gabriel Robinson, played by Aidan Quinn, has been committing crimes against U.S. citizens. Dusty Crane, played by Taylor John Smith, is another operative who is put at risk with Robinson’s corrupt operations. There is also reporter Mira Jones, played by Emmy Raver-Lampman, who believes there is a story that can go public. And there is Travis’s daughter Amanda Block, played by Claire van der Boom, who gets tangled up in Robinson’s web while her father tries to protect her and his granddaughter.
These are the principal characters, and I’ve described the basic theme, but the plot of Blacklight jumps around a lot. It seemed like they were focusing more on Neeson rather than a cohesive story. And although there were many actions sequences with Neeson, at 69 he can’t run as fast or jump as high as he once did. His classic voice is still strong and authoritative, though, and that’s a selling point for the film.
Overall, I would say that Blacklight is just above average. Clever at times but with a somewhat dry plot that can be out of focus. Some decent chase scenes, and I always enjoy Neeson’s performances. Other than that, not much. Two and a half stars for Blacklight.