“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.”

Director: Robert Lorenz
Writers: Chris Charles, Danny Kravtiz, Robert Lorenz
Staring: Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Teresa Ruiz, Juan Pablo Raba, Jacob Perez
Release Date: May 27, 2022

The Marksman is exactly what you’d expect. It delivers on what it promises, and doesn’t overstep its bound trying to be something it isn’t. The Marksman is a slightly-to-long action romp where Neeson defies the odds, comes to a personal understanding, and tussles with making the ultimate sacrifice for the right cause.

Miguel (Jacob Perez) is the son of Rosa (Teresa Ruiz), and they are living peacefully in Mexico away from harm. Well that is until Mauricio (Juan Pablo Raba) and the cartel start chasing after them. When they cross over and step into the United States they meet up with Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson), who is just on a drive trying to get his own shit together. Safe to say, their interaction doesn’t make it easier for him.

Rosa is shot by the cartel upon entering the US, and in her desperation she asks for Jim’s help in protecting Miguel and escorting him to Chicago to meet up with his extended family. Jim has a lot on his plate with his house foreclosing, but he takes on the mission, begrudgingly. His road trip to the Midwest is not smooth by any means. Mauricio and his henchman are trailing Jim and Miguel throughout their trip, and so it becomes a fight for survival.

Here is a spoiler alert. Jim and Miguel survive. Did you really think that Jim was going to fail in saving the boy? Liam Neeson isn’t playing these games at his age.

You can predict every single plot point in The Marksman. Also, if you are thinking. Wow, these bad guys are really bad at shooting, then you would also be right. There are plenty of convenient plot points that continue the story along, like a map falling on the ground and convenient run ins on the road. The Marksman is not going to win any awards, and nor should it. The acting is bad, the writing is poor and the story is simple. If you like C-level action and can deal with some ham-fisted acting, then you will be satisfied.

We are beyond the point of judging Neeson for the movies he takes. He is who he is now. So be it with that.

This is only Robert Lorenz’s second major motion picture following Trouble With The Curve (2012), so he is new to the game. He has three project lined in for the future, so here is to hoping that he learns to be a bit more original. The one thing that he nailed in The Marksman was the American symbolism. The American flag draped over his shoulder in the beginning when he is being told his house is going to be sold is just one of many bullet points taken to show that Jim is an American Vietnam veteran of a different time.

The Marksman was released in January 2021, and that is a perfect fit. This is a January slop movie. It is not the worst I have seen, but it definitely is not going to demand your attention. The Marksman is a perfect background movie because the plot is as easy as you can picture. Pick your head up when you hear the gunshots to watch the bad guys flounder under Neeson’s scope. The Marksman is not good, but it is perfectly fine.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


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