Directed By Mark Williams

Starring – Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Taylor John Smith

The Plot – Travis Block (Neeson) is a government operative coming to terms with his shadowy past. When he discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens, Block finds himself in the crosshairs of the FBI director (Quinn) he once helped protect.

Rated PG-13 for strong violence, action and adult language

Blacklight | Official Trailer | Only In Theatres February 11 – YouTube


It’s a difficult task to even find anything to be elated about this experience, but the sound design during action sequences does bring with it a surprisingly echoing influence over the reins of the film’s nearly complete absence of suspense, serving as the lone aspect of production that brought its best to the integrity of what’s asked of it. This is certainly nothing groundbreaking or riveting in terms of originality or uniqueness in its gimmick, but its supercharged ammunition and devastating firearms certainly supplant a palpable urgency to the vast array of situations in action sequences that characters continuously find themselves in, and when compared to everything else is all the more impressive considering the amateur level of capabilities that damn’s the film almost entirely upon arrival.



Where does one begin? Blacklight has no right even being released in a theatrical setting, thanks in whole to many problematic instances, but especially in the air of its bankrupt production value that highlights a cheap consistency in its abhorent visual style. When this film isn’t conjuring up a visual poison in the many color schemes and disastrous framing techniques used during some of the ugliest shots I’ve ever seen in a mainstream release, it exudes these disjointed, alienating action sequences with more gimmicks than an Improv comedy stage show. Sometimes this pertains to these triggering close-ups during intentionally focused shots where a character is reflecting on something mentally and the visual cue jerks abruptly forward for no reason whatsoever, and other times this pertains to the jarring disaster of editing consistency that feels like it was solely inspired to invoke seizures to anyone in the audience dumb enough to fork money over for it. Seriously, these sequences lack any semblance of clarity or detection to sell just what in the hell is going on at any given moment, and between the motion sickness attained in the volume of their vicious cuts and the laughably bad believability in the way it stitches together enough various shots to make a 70-year-old feel like he’s holding his own against muscle heads twice his size, is humorous to say the least. Speaking of humor, the script itself is full of enough laugh out loud moments in both the on-the-nose spoon-fed social commentary of a group called Unity mowing down a bunch of SJW’s for profit, but also in the bumbling benevolence of its dialogue, which feels plucked from any of the worst spoof movies of the past decade. Refusing to lack subtlety from the get-go, the film begins with a character who is so obviously Alexandra Ocassio-Cortez being gunned down by this radical group, and then later being summarized by the leader of said group mumbling “Sadly, this country is currently being run by Twitter gotcha moments”. This isn’t a one-off instance either, as later in the film two characters seeking truth and justice against this group are having a conversation with one another, and the investigative journalist describes all of the bodies stacking up, and her manager chimes in with the clever “Wow, that is messed up”. This is also echoed with the expositional dialogue, as the lack of synergy or snappy structure to the way characters interact is about as exciting as watching paint dry and did lead to more than a few instances during the experience where my eyes were telling me no when my mind was telling me yes. As for the performances, this is purely a paycheck film for Neeson and company, as no one involved even slightly feels committed or compelling in the air of their lifeless caricatures. Neeson in particular has about as much authenticity in the ridiculous lines of dialogue his character spouts as an after school special, made all the worse by these wooden deliveries that are especially suspect even for a man who has made the same film for the better part of twenty years at this point. Some of the problems certainly stem from the limitations of a Covid-production, where actors are obviously not even in the same shot with one another, but the bigger emphasis is on the complete lack of direction that should bridge the gap with such a handicap in disbelief, but instead maximizes it with the kind of execution that is similar to films where C.G is used for character likenesses, and the live action actors never know where to look. Last but not least, the periodic sloppy instances throughout the engagement prove that no semblance of creative inspiration or capability was prescribed in the direction of Williams’ continued incompetence. I hate coming down so hard on a creator, but when one such scene involving a detective watching a soccer game has him angry about a goal, and then in the next frame the game shows that it’s still scoreless, you can’t help but wonder how this guy got a job on a mainstream release in the first place, making me mourn the hundreds of directors who created something substantial, but will never be able to present it to a mainstream audience because of the lack of big studio influence over its marketing. Truly tragic.



“Blacklight” should’ve been left in the darkness and ambiguity of straight-to-streaming cinematic releases. It’s a colossal anomaly for the way it not only underwhelms at nearly every level of productive achievement, but also in the way it takes someone as normally charismatic and endearing as Neeson and makes him a lethargic footnote in a completely wasteful exercise of time, energy, and money.

My Grade: 1/10 or F-

7 thoughts on “Blacklight

  1. Wow….haha I would never had figured a 1….I am a sucker for Liam films (even though they are repetitive), but even I may have to pass on this one.

  2. This…sounds awful. I should have known when today was the first time I heard about this movie, but when the sound mix is the only positive you can pull out, then you know you are in a dumpster fire of a film. I love that the scoreboard doesn’t match the scene it is relevant to! This is a hard pass, and I generally enjoy Liams films! Great review!!

  3. Good grief. There are scathing reviews. Then there is this one. Wasn’t planning on seeing this one, but now I might even have to purposefully avoid it.

  4. HOT DAMN! Don’t get me wrong, I also found this to be awful, straight to the bargain bin garbage, but even I didn’t hate this as much as you did despite us giving the same score. I could feel you struggling to say something positive with this one, and I honestly don’t blame you. There is so much wrong with this one. You’re completely right in saying that this has no right being a theatrical experience, because it screams straight to DVD. I’m glad I’m not the only one that got sick of the film’s political side because it was so ridiculous and appalling. However, I honestly didn’t pick up on the film’s obvious reflections on current political figures and now I’m even more mad at the film then when I left the theater. You went for the absolute throat with this one and it made for my favorite review from you so far this year. Incredible work!

  5. Saw Liam Neeson listed as the actor. Pretty much figured how your review was going to play out on this one. When I got through the short lived positives, and saw the enormous list of negatives I knew what to expect. Only way I’m seeing this one is if I visit someone at their house and they have it playing. No way am I going to waste time with this one.

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