Rated PG-13, 105 minutes
The familiar new action thriller "Blacklight" stars charming veteran action hero Liam Neeson in a movie we've seen many times before. From the producer and creator of the hit crime show "Ozark," it's held together by Neeson, who seems to be going through the motions.
Travis Block (Neeson), a shadowy government agent who specializes in removing operatives whose covers have been exposed, uncovers a deadly conspiracy within his own ranks that reaches the highest echelons of power, including FBI Chief Robinson (a scene chomping Aidan Quinn).
"Blacklight" is directed and co-written by "Ozark" creator and producer Mark Williams and is mostly cookie-cutter formula stuff for Neeson, who likely says yes to most of these without reading much of the script. We know by now that you don't mess around with Neeson, who tries to save the film from dire predictability, but in the end, it's the 125th variation of his hit "Taken," which put him on the map as an action, and based on his upcoming films, there's going to be a few more of these in store.
Quinn goes a little over-the-top as a corrupt FBI Chief, who goes toe-to-toe with Neeson's gritty Travis, and you can only imagine who'll win that battle. The good thing is, Neeson knows this formula well, he knows what audiences are looking for, and he ably delivers above a weak story that ends just as you might think. "The Umbrella Academy's" Emmy Raver-Lampan and Australian actress Claire Van der boom ("Hawaii Five-O") get in a few good scenes as a nosy journalist and Travis' estranged daughter, respectively.
"Blacklight" is a mildly enjoyable, mostly forgettable crime tale you've seen before, and Neeson's devout fan base should get most of out of this.