director: Robert Lorenz (trouble with the curve)
starring: liam neeson, jacob perez, Juan Pablo Raba and Katheryn Winnick
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A rancher on the Arizona border becomes the unlikely defender of a young Mexican boy desperately fleeing the cartel assassins who've pursued him into the U.S.
This could be one of Liam Neeson’s last action films. After seeing a career revival thanks to his turn in 2008’s Taken, Neeson has announced that since he’s nearly 69 it's time for him to retire from such films. The Marksman is classic Neeson action fodder: it’s Neeson doing the right thing no matter the cost. What’s not to like about that?
Along the US/Mexico border in Arizona, Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) a rancher and Vietnam war vet, is going through a tough time. His beloved wife just passed away from cancer and the bank is about to foreclose on his vast property. His quiet life is suddenly disturbed by the unexpected arrival of two illegal immigrants crossing the border onto his land – a mother and her young son, who are desperately fleeing a brutal Mexican cartel. After a fiery shootout leaves the mother dead, Jim becomes the reluctant defender of the young boy, Miguel. The unlikely duo is now on the run from the relentless assassins and crooked cops. On their journey, Jim and Miguel’s contempt for each other will give way to understanding and compassion with Jim embracing his role as Miguel’s heroic protector who will stop at nothing to get him to safety.
We’ve seen this kinda Neeson action movie before. Thematically not much is different even if the story and setting are. Hanson, Neeson’s character is a hell of a lot more grumpy than his other action incarnations as he begrudgingly helps young Miguel escape from the cartels clutches.
Even if the action sequences aren’t incredibly inspired they are still entertaining enough to keep your eyes glued to the silver screen. There are also some tender moments strewn throughout the film that help connect us with the plight of Hanson and Miguel and keep us rooting for them to escape the clutches of the cartel.
But at the end of the day Neeson can alleviate any film that he is in. The guy, even at the tender age of nearly 69, has that Hollywood star quality that commands the screen with every growl, sneer and bullet fired.
The Marksman is classic Neeson action fodder: it’s Neeson doing the right thing no matter the cost. What’s not to like about that?