Blacklight Preview

Jamie and Patrick find themselves back in their apartment. The door to Kyle’s room opens and he stops short, his eyes widening. “Did you decide not to leave?” he asks, hope in his voice, “Lou gave me the Dongle and this note and said I wouldn’t see you for a while.” He looks at the note, already covered in chocolate. “I guess I won’t have to follow you after all,” he concludes and attempts to give them back the Dongle. But Jamie and Patrick stop him and shake their heads. “You did follow us,” Patrick says solemnly, tears brimming in his eyes, “And you saved us.” They explain how Kyle is the key to the Dongle’s destruction. “We were going about it all wrong,” Jamie says, a little embarrassed, “we spent years trying to destroy the Dongle. We could never do that. But you can… just by keeping it.” Kyle bites his lip in trepidation. He looks back at his room. Having got up the courage to invite Rachel over, she now was waiting in his room ready to watch Ghost starring Patrick Swayze as their first date. They can see the concern in his eyes. If he has the Dongle will it put Rachel in danger? Does this mean he will never know love? “Don’t worry,” Jamie says smiling, “she’s also the key to all of this. And as a gift for all that you did we’d also like you two to take over BMT. It’s time for us to move on.” Kyle’s mouth falls open in surprise. “But what are you going to do now?” he asks, prompting Jamie and Patrick to look at each other. “We don’t know,” Patrick says, “something good… time to move out of the darkness and into the light.” That’s right! We’re moving away from the ironic and into the serious 2022 choices with one of two Liam Neeson action films that critically flopped this year. First up is Blacklight, which is about… an old person beating people up, I think. Let’s go!

Blacklight (2022) – BMeTric: 61.1; Notability: 27 – BMeTric: top 3.2%; Notability: top 5.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.3%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Brazen, The Bubble, Moonfall, They/Them, Firestarter, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Morbius; Higher Notability: Jurassic World: Dominion, Black Adam, Pinocchio, Amsterdam, Morbius, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, The King’s Daughter, Spiderhead, Don’t Worry Darling, The 355; Lower RT: After Ever Happy, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Me Time, On the Line; Notes: Kind of amazing that Moonfall of all things has a higher BMeT. Maybe because more people saw it? That would make sense. Still, I feel like Moonfall is one of those films which ten years from now will have a 6.3 on IMDb and confuse anyone who watches it. – 1.0 stars – Another season, another “Liam Neeson Has Skills” movie. Some of the variants of his popular “Taken” movies (the last one, “Taken 3,” was all the way back in 2014, how times flies) have been reasonably clever and even cinematically worthwhile on a surprising level (see for instance 2019’s “Cold Pursuit”). Mark Williams’ “Blacklight,” alas, is not among them.

(So … basically this is just a basic Liam Neeson snoozefest of an action film. Jokes on you I watched The Ice Road. I’m immune to Liam-Neeson-omnia.)

Trailer –

(Is … Liam Neeson trying to do something like an American accent? Or is supposed to be an Irish person who works for the U.S. government and has been in the country for so long he’s vaguely lost his accent? Anyways, I unironically love that we’ve reached the point where Liam Neeson explicitly has a granddaughter who calls the action hero in the film “grandpa” in the trailer. A perfect encapsulation of the current state of Liam Neeson’s career.)

DirectorsMark Williams – ( Known For: A Family Man; Future BMT: Honest Thief; BMT: Blacklight; Notes: Kind of amazing we never watched Honest Thief. Executive Produced Ozark for which he was nominated for three Emmys.)

WritersNick May – (BMT: Blacklight; Notes: Nothing on IMDb, but if you search the trades you can find articles about this specific film. Kind of funny, but it looks like the update was right, May ultimately did get a writing credit on the film.)

Mark Williams – ( Known For: Copshop; Future BMT: Honest Thief; BMT: Blacklight; Notes: If the article above is to be believed him getting a writing credit is nuts, but then again, he did write some of it, probably re-wrote a bunch on set, and him not him getting a credit was probably unlikely.)

Brandon Reavis – (BMT: Blacklight; Notes: Nothing about this guy at all. Given he has a story credit I would imagine he is the writing partner of May in some capacity.)

ActorsLiam Neeson – ( Known For: Schindler’s List; Love Actually; The Dark Knight Rises; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; Batman Begins; Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace; Taken; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Widows; The Lego Movie; Gangs of New York; Excalibur; Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones; The A-Team; The Commuter; Marlowe; The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; Ted 2; Silence; Future BMT: Memory; Kingdom of Heaven; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Clash of the Titans; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; Daddy’s Home 2; The Marksman; Men in Black: International; Taken 2; Wrath of the Titans; Krull; Taken 3; Entourage; Honest Thief; High Spirits; Before and After; The Nut Job; BMT: Blacklight; Battleship; The Haunting; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 2013 for Battleship, and Wrath of the Titans; Notes: Y’all know Liam Neeson. Nominated for an Oscar for Schindler’s List. He was just announced as the main character in a Naked Gun remake that is happening.)

Aidan Quinn – ( Known For: Legends of the Fall; The Handmaid’s Tale; Flipped; Frankenstein; The Mission; Unknown; Benny & Joon; Wild Child; Desperately Seeking Susan; Michael Collins; Stakeout; Song for a Raggy Boy; Avalon; Haunted; Music of the Heart; At Play in the Fields of the Lord; If I Were You; Songcatcher; The Assignment; Elle s’appelait Sarah; Future BMT: Practical Magic; Reckless; In Dreams; Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius; BMT: Blacklight; Jonah Hex; Notes: Nominated for two Emmys for An Early Frost and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (both miniseries). He’s a classic “that guy”. He’s married to Elizabeth Bracco.)

Taylor John Smith – ( Known For: The Outpost; Shadow in the Cloud; Insidious: Chapter 3; You Get Me; Martyrs; Some Kind of Beautiful; Almost Friends; Wolves; Future BMT: Where the Crawdads Sing; BMT: Blacklight; Hunter Killer; Notes: We’ll see him again in Where the Crawdads Sing. There is shockingly little about him. Probably most notable for being in Sharp Objects.)

Budget/Gross – $43 million / Domestic: $9,591,094 (Worldwide: $15,902,207)

(Disastrous, but that’s what happens when you have a bad action film. Could be a bit of Hollywood accounting here as well though since according to the article above there were pretty specific commitments about compensation tied to the profit this film made. But who knows. $43 million seems absurd for a 2022 Liam Neeson film. It feels fake.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 10% (10/102): Turn it off.

(I actually genuinely hate the consensus. It makes little sense beyond that the word “light” is in the title. Anyways, actually a rare <10% Rotten Tomatoes film, although barely.)

Reviewer Highlight: One could even argue that it’s not a movie at all, only a rusted-out recycling bin of ill-fitting themes, notions, poses, conventions, affectations, tropes, tropelets and inert snippets of dialogue from other movies. – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

Poster – Skloglight

(I like the colors, but that’s about it. Tells me nothing about what I’m going to see, which is probably the point. Anyone who sees this poster and is intrigued is going to get exactly what they want: Old Man Neeson. C.)

Tagline(s) – They’re gonna need more men (C-)

(Meeehhhhhh. I guess it’s short in a somewhat pleasing way, but it’s far too generic to warrant any real credit. As a joke someone should take the last five Neeson films and photoshop the posters so they all have this tagline.)

Keyword(s) – year 2022

Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Adam Project (2022), The Northman (2022), The Gray Man (2022)

Future BMT: 63.3 Firestarter (2022), 62.6 Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 49.8 Umma (2022), 47.6 The Invitation (2022), 45.7 The 355 (2022), 44.2 Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), 37.7 Memory (2022), 24.7 Amsterdam (2022), 7.7 Black Adam (2022), 7.3 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), Blacklight (2022), After Ever Happy (2022), The King’s Daughter (2022), Prey for the Devil (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Best Options (Action): 60.8 Blacklight (2022), 45.7 The 355 (2022), 44.2 Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), 37.7 Memory (2022), 7.7 Black Adam (2022)

(Yup, the best of the bunch. But no worries. Jurassic World 3 and Memory are both currently on the docket, so we will be hitting up a good number of bangers from the year.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Liam Neeson is No. 1 billed in Blacklight and No. 2 billed in The Haunting, which also stars Virginia Madsen (No. 9 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 3 billed) which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed) which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => (1 + 2) + (9 + 3) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 22. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The lowest rated Liam Neeson action film on Rotten Tomatoes

Principal photography of the film started in November 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. In January 2021 it was announced that a car chase scene would be filmed in Canberra.

A cinematic technique of fast zoom in, out and in again (or the opposite) are used to increase the suspense of the story and symbolize Block’s obsessional compulsive disorder.


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