Liam Neeson is an motion star with a selected set of expertise: he can drive quick, punch exhausting and emote with a depth that makes his shenanigans appear impressed by Ingmar Bergman. In “Blacklight,” Mark Williams’s quirky but middling thriller, Neeson performs an off-the-books operative who takes secret orders immediately from the director of the F.B.I. (Aidan Quinn), a power-mad, old-guard bureaucrat irritated that he can’t profess his love for J. Edgar Hoover with out triggering “politically appropriate puppets.”
“Blacklight” opens with the assassination of a charismatic, Twitter-hooked politician (Mel Jarnson) seemingly (and uncomfortably) cloned from Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, then trots out acquainted action-movie characters. A plucky reporter (Emmy Raver-Lampman) smells conspiracy. A heroic G-man (Tim Draxl) runs away from cronies who suspect that he’s flipped. The twist within the screenplay (written by Nick Could and Williams, the director) is that the story sticks with the perspective of Neeson’s naïve brute, who in an extraordinary movie can be a no-name heavy offed within the third act. “Am I the great man?” he asks. Probably not, even to his estranged daughter (Claire van der Growth), who’s aghast that her father arrives at his wee granddaughter’s birthday celebration with a gift-wrapped stun gun — a comic book gag that will get tripped up by a treacly piano rating and Neeson’s adamant gravitas. After that muddled early scene, the movie teeters between subverting the style and obeying conference. At the very least Williams shows a little bit of ingenious aptitude with novel booby traps and a chase scene that incorporates a lurching rubbish truck.
Rated PG-13 for bland swearing and bland taking pictures. Operating time: 1 hour 48 minutes. In theaters.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/10/films/blacklight-review.html ‘Blacklight’ Overview: He’s Off the Books (However You’ve Learn This One Earlier than)