The Blacklight (2023) Film Review
When you as a screenwriter make a conscious decision to merge genres, there has to be a good idea behind such a bold move. And it’s not just an idea, you have to make sure you cover all aspects of the genres enough to give the audience that “hey, the movie is interesting” appeal. At least. If you get a few comments like this, or if people get excited about the concept, then you’ve succeeded. Congratulation! Time to enjoy what comes next.
The thing with that 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 he is a writer/director Nick Snow he chose to follow an inconsistent path that discredits his own vision. The constant introduction of new characters, the endless twists and turns, the awkward humor. The Blacklight not a bad movie, but lacks control in its action/thriller/dark comedy approach. After the great introduction, one almost wonders if it wasn’t easier to make a good, old-fashioned horror movie.
The film tells the story of a guy with a past who tries to straighten himself out. But the temptation is too strong as you are handed the opportunity of a lifetime on a silver platter. Also, a very stupid clothing choice during a robbery will leave you in public.
Anyway, Danny decides to rob a very special item from a castle. This thing is just a piece of fabric. But he has an incredible power that inspires all the other gangs in town to try and grab him. That’s how Danny’s last hit turns into a nightmare as the item’s power is revealed and all stakes are raised.
Part heist, part action thriller, part supernatural fantasy comedy, The Blacklight it runs for over two hours, and that’s more than enough to understand what Snow’s goal is with the film. A mish-mash of genres that becomes tiring after some repetitive scenes and the moral dilemmas of the main characters.
There is also something good in this continuous environmental and dynamic change. Snow is a good storyteller who relies on great visuals to make his film interesting for action fans. Some editing would have been great, but at least Snow brings a lot of personality to the characters in a film whose genre isn’t known for portraying compelling criminals. Everyone can be blamed for this, and Snow uses this to create a moral balance in an environment that is 99% “bad guys”.
Oh, and is that the end? I think it was too hasty. Justice for Danny! At least that’s what I can say after two hours of a barrage of bullets ends with an easy script decision that doesn’t stick with the rest of the film. I wonder if there is an alternate ending.