Archives for posts with tag: Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson is on record saying he’ll keep playing action heroes until Hollywood decides to stop casting him in these interchangeable, progressively more derivative cash grabs (my words, not his). His character in “Blacklight” (2022), however, hopes to hang up his holster and play grandpa. But it’s not that easy if you’re an FBI fixer with obsessive-compulsive disorder. And when the death of an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez surrogate threatens to unveil government wrongdoing, you know geezer hijinks, annoying camera gimmicks and eye-rolling journalistic hijinks will ensue. The film’s self-congratulatory wrap-up leaves too many loose ends and implausible decisions by key characters.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight repeatedly recycled film topics. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

An action movie. The star is not American. The script calls for an American. The star plays the American but makes no effort to sound like an American. Because it’s an action movie. This. my friends, is the Schwarzenegger Problem. I can give you 100 examples of dramas in which British actors nail various American dialects, but action flicks apparently spend too much on pyro and not enough on voice coaches. It’s not just Arnold. Liam Neeson is the worst current perpetrator. It’s an unnecessary distraction. Just fix the script. Give him an immigrant backstory. Why is this so hard?

White people. They screw up everything. That’s pretty much the theme of “The Mission” (1986), except the white people are actually conniving Spanish and Portuguese colonialists and some other white people (Jesuit priests Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson) are trying to peacefully bring Jesus to the same indigenous South Americans. Then there’s Robert De Niro, who alternates between slave trader and Jesuit, always on the wrong side at the wrong time. Trust me, it’s not as confusing as it seems. Lush scenery, simple but effective storytelling and a healthy dose of Catholic guilt, if you’re into that sort of thing.