Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Liam Neeson is back with a vengeance in his newest thriller Blacklight. Neeson plays Travis Block, a "fixer" for the FBI. Basically, if an agent is showing signs of instability, Travis goes in to save them and brings them home. Over the course of his career, he's learned to not ask questions. He just follows orders. But after an agent he respects says he's uncovered something and threatens to go to the media, Travis starts to ask questions...and he doesn't like what he finds.
I absolutely love it when movies expose the government for what it is: a corrupt system run by corrupt people who would stab their own friends in the back if it meant they get what they want. In the opening of the film, a woman is protesting in Washington DC and expresses in amazing accuracy what I imagine most Americans feel like. Aside from Jeff Daniels' amazing speech in The Newsroom, this scene felt like one of the most real, authentic speeches in a film.
Liam is as good as ever in this film. I've noticed that he's gradually cutting down on action sequences and focusing more on the drama and his character's drive. He's able to bring vulnerability and conflict to his role which I think breathes more life into the film. Aidan Quinn was a good choice for the director of the FBI. He seemed aged and broken with a bitter soul, which is essentially what the director of the FBI probably would feel like after several decades.
I had two issues with the film. First was how quickly the villain was revealed to the audience. It was a one-sided mystery, which is nowhere near as fun as when you get to figure it out along with the characters. Secondly, you'd think special agents, especially for the FBI, would be able to shoot better. The only person that was remotely accurate was Liam. Everyone else was missing fairly close-range targets which seemed a bit ridiculous. Otherwise, I was happy and enjoyed the film along with its message.
In conclusion, this is a fun film. If you love Liam Neeson's thrillers then you'll have a lot of fun here. Just don't expect to do a whole lot of thinking. I give Blacklight a 3 out of 4.
© 2022 Nathan Jasper