The Blacklight (2023) Film Review |

The Blacklight still

When as a screenwriter, you make the conscious decision to merge genres, there has to be a good idea behind such a bold move. And not only an idea, you have to make sure to cover enough ground in all aspects of those genres in order to get the appeal necessary for audiences to say “hey, the film is interesting”. At least. If you get a couple of comments like those or, if you get people excited about the concept, then you’ve made it. Congratulations! Time to enjoy what comes next.

The thing with The Blacklight is that it doesn’t quite get to the point of being an attractive execution of a concept. Its premise is very, very good. But writer/director Nick Snow has decided to go on an inconsistent path that discredits his own idea. The constant introduction of new characters, the neverending twists, the awkward humor. The Blacklight isn’t a bad film, but it lacks control in its approach of action/thriller/dark comedy. After a great introduction, one almost wonders if it wasn’t easier to make a good old-fashioned horror film. 

The film tells the story of a guy with a past who’s trying to straighten himself. But temptation is far too powerful as he gets handed the opportunity of a lifetime on a silver plate. Also, a very stupid outfit decision during a robbery leaves him out in the open.

Anyway, Danny decides to rob a very particular item from a mansion. This thing is just a piece of fabric. But it holds an incredible power that’ll arouse every other gang in the city to try to get ahold of it. It’s how Danny’s last hit becomes a nightmare as the item’s power is revealed and all bets are raised.

Part heist film, part action thriller and part supernatural fantasy comedy, The Blacklight runs for more than two hours and it’s more than enough to get a sense of the idea of what Snow aims to do with his film. A genre mashup that gets tiresome after a few repetitive scenes and moral conundrums by the main characters. 

In this continuous change of environment and dynamics, there’s something good to be found. Snow is a good storyteller that relies on great visuals to make his film an interesting one for action buffs. A few edits would have been great, but Snow at least injects a lot of personality into the characters of a film whose genre isn’t known for portraying compelling criminals. In this one, everyone’s got something to be blamed for and Snow uses this for creating moral balance in a setting that consists 99% of “bad guys”.

Oh, and that ending? Way too rushed in my opinion. Justice for Danny! At least that’s what I’m able to say after two hours of a bullet shower ends with a lightweight script decision that doesn’t stick with the rest of the film. I wonder if there’s an alternate ending.

Federico Furzan on InstagramFederico Furzan on Twitter
Federico Furzan

Founder of Screentology. Member of the OFCS. RT Certified Critic

Dog dad.

Source link