The Marksman is a 2021 action film co-written, produced, and directed by Robert Lorenz (Trouble with the Curve and Unabomb). Lorenz was an assistant director/2nd unit director plus a frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator on such films as: Shakes the Clown, Cool as Ice, Seedpeople, The Late Shift, Absolute Power, True Crime, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Blood Work, Space Cowboys, and many others before directing his own films. It was co-written by Chris Charles (The Small Assassin, The Last Day, Greg’s Leg, and Mariana Walks) and Danny Kravitz (Ringwald Moment and The Strip). It was produced by Mark Williams (Honest Thief, Ozark, A Dark Place, A Family Man, Java Heat, and The Canyon). The budget was at an estimated $23 million and it grossed $22.3 million worldwide at the box office.
Former Marine Sniper and Vietnam war veteran Jim Hanson (played by: Liam Neeson from the Taken franchise, Honest Thief, Cold Pursuit, The Haunting, Batman Begins, Darkman, and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace) lives along the Arizona-Mexico border. He reports attempted illegal crossings. He stays to himself for the most part besides his step-daughter Sarah (played by: Katheryn Winnick from Vikings, The Dark Tower, Satan’s Little Helper, Hellraiser: Hellworld, and Amusement). One day, while on patrol, he encounters Rosa (played by: Teresa Ruiz from Narcos: Mexico) and her son Miguel (played by: Jacob Perez from Stop the Bleeding!) on the run from the dangerous drug cartel. Hanson calls border patrol on them before he sees the cartel coming up. He ends the call and gets involved in a shootout with the cartel led by Mauricio (played by: Juan Pablo Raba from Coyote, Peppermint, Shot Caller, Narcos, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Hanson kills Mauricio’s brother and Rosa is fatally wounded. Hanson gets Rosa’s family’s address in Chicago and ends up helping them out. The blood thirsty cartel use fake passports to get into America to follow them for their revenge. A corrupt border patrol officer sees their gang tattoos, recognizes that the passports are fake, and allows them in anyway. Hanson uses his credit card to repair his truck and Mauricio is able to track them down on Route 66 in Oklahoma. Mauricio with his killer crew catch up to them after some short stops and issues. Mauricio captures Miguel and all hell breaks loose. Can Hanson save the boy again? or Has his luck finally ran out????
The Covid-19 situation hasn’t slowed down action star Liam Neeson because he is still pumping out those features. The Marksman reminds me a little of the last Rambo sequel but with a PG-13 rating. That’s my biggest complaint with this one, something like this shouldn’t be rated that because it tends to water it down. The last two Neeson movies have been PG-13 unfortunately but I understand that they are trying to play it safe and make their money back because it’s been a weird few years for cinema. It’s not bringing in the same money as before but I personally think studios should film unrated and director’s cut for home video later on if they are that worried about flopping during the pandemic.
It’s ironic because The Marksman still didn’t make back it’s budget during it’s theatrical run despite it’s family friendly rating. Don’t get me wrong, it still has it’s violence and action but it’s not the same as most of Neeson’s other revenge material. The script was solid and it made someone a hero again that didn’t really want to be. The main villain was solid for the most part and it had more than a few unlikable characters before the finale hits. Liam Neeson makes The Marksman better than it should be but he’s done so many of these type of features over the years, it’s natural to him at this point. Katheryn Winnick was the best thing about this besides Neeson. This one had more of a smaller and unknown cast but they were all good here. The Marksman delivers on the action, it has a nice pace, and it’s very entertaining. It’s not Neeson’s best work but it’s worth checking out.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special feature from Universal Pictures! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks great and it captures that borderline atmosphere plus various locations during it’s wild road trip. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track shines when it comes to the action and it has a nice boost during it. All of the dialogue is very clean and the music is elevated here. It has English SDH and Spanish subtitles. “The Making of The Marksman” is a little over 8 minutes. It has interviews with the cast and crew for the production. They chat about the script, characters, and their experience. They talk about the actors and working with the director. They show their appreciation for action star Liam Neeson and mention their collaborations with him on this. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, and a blu ray copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!