<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 6, 2022



WHEN LIAM NEESON did “Taken” in 2008 as a dad looking for his kidnapped daughter, he didn’t know it will reboot his career as an action star at the age of 56. 

It was produced by French filmmaker Luc Besson and soon, other producers got him to do more action films for them. He’s turning 70 this year and some critics now deride him for being the Geriatic Action Star, saying his films are all the same.

We’ve just seen his latest film, “Blacklight”, and some reviewers are also criticizing it as it is set in Washington D.C. and yet it was filmed on location in Melbourne, Australia where production cost is cheaper. 

The film opens with a Hispanic political activist, Sofia Flores (Melanie Jarnson), giving a fiery speech at a rally for women’s rights and against racial discrimination. On her way home that night, she was killed by two men who made it look like a hit-and-run accident. 

Liam plays Travis Block, a Vietnam War veteran who now works for his former Vietnam colleague, Gabriel Robinson (Aidan Quinn), now the FBI Director, on a special freelance arrangement in helping out other FBI agents who are in danger. 

We first see him in action as he rescues a female undercover FBI agent from a gang of white supremacists who have found out she’s spying on them. 

With his some MacGyver ingenuity in solving problems with the help of some pyrotechnics, he succeeds in saving the agent from the angry neo-Nazis who are about to lynch her.

Block feels he’s already too old for the job and now wants to retire, so he can spend more precious time with his daughter Amanda (Claire Van der Bloom), who resents him as he was an absentee dad, and granddaughter Natalie (Gabriella Sengos), who’s fond of him. 

But Robinson won’t let him go and gives him a new assignment. 

His new task is to get hold of Agent Dusty Crane (Taylor Smith), who is about to give vital information to a reporter, Mira Jones (Emmy Lampman), about the truth of why Sofia Flores was killed. 

He tries to convince Crane to go with him in peace but he runs away and Block sees him being brutally shot to death by two armed men. 

Block then talks to Mira Jones who reveals to him that the FBI has a covert operation, Project Unity. 

Its aim is to silence innocent civilians perceived to be inimically progressive to the government because of their activist leanings, like Flores. 

He asks Robinson about it but he is just told not to get on the way. 

Soon, even his daughter and granddaughter both go missing and it’s time for him to go rogue. As we all know, you don’t mess up with Liam Neeson’s family as he is bound to take things into his own hands. 

There’s obviously a conspiracy led by Robinson and he will not turn a blind eye to injustice. He then leaves no stone unturned until he uncovers it and all of Robinson’s secrets are revealed in the open. One of the things he discovers is that Dusty Crane is the secret boyfriend of Sofia Flores. 

He’s originally assigned by the FBI to infiltrate Sofia’s life and spy on her, but he really falls in love with her. 

With her dead, Dusty is now ready to tell the whole story about the corrupt activities of his superiors in the FBI.

It’s true that some elements of “Blacklight” have been seen in past action flicks, but the fact remains that it is still an effective action thriller about the danger of unchecked power in the hands of wrong government people. 

Liam’s Travis Block is actually an anti-hero with a shady background and working in the dark. 

He might be geriatric but, in all fairness to Liam, he can still punch and slug it out with younger villains, chasing and shooting them with his brooding and hulking screen presence still intact. 

Director Mark Williams knows he is doing a variation of the same theme and formula that have been seen before in Liam’s past flicks, but he does get to present some exciting action set pieces, tense shootouts and car and foot chases that will not disappoint hardcore action fans, with the pacing frenetic enough to keep the story moving forward.