THEATRICAL REVIEW: Blacklight is more ass-kicking Liam Neeson we didn’t ask for

Since Liam Neeson started an unlikely career resurgence as a gruff-voiced action star in 2008’s Taken, it seems he’s impossible to slow down.

It was novel at first, but watching an elderly man beat up stuntmen has officially grown tired. A one-time Oscar nominee, Neeson a splendid performer – as evidenced in Martin Scorcese’s under-appreciated Silence.

But as grandfather and FBI fixer Travis Block, it’s become clear it’s time for Neeson the action star to retire and try new things.

The plot – or what resembles it – follows Block as he tries to reconcile his present with his past, and his attempt to leave behind his freelance job making problems disappear.

But when he and an undercover agent become aware of a plot – a murky one at best – that targets civilians, he finds himself at odds with his mentor and director at the agency.

Director Mark Williams previously directed Neeson in Honest Thief and produced last year’s The Marksman, but I think he needs a new gimmick.

Not even the 69-year-old actor’s easy charisma can help this one, and even the welcome appearance of Aidan Quinn in a villainous role didn’t amount to much.

If you put a magnifier up to this one, what you’ll find is a lazy attempt to cash in on Neeson’s name once again, and very little substance. Unfortunately for Blacklight, all the film proves is it’s time to shut the lights off on this decades-old formula.

1.5/5 Stars

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