The Marksman (Action, Drama, Thriller) (2021)
Director: Robert Lorenz
Writer: Robert Lorenz, Chris Charles, Danny Kravitz
Stars: Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Juan Pablo Raba, Jacob Perez
Stumbling upon an immigrant mother and her son, Rancher Jim finds himself on the run from a Mexican cartel, trying to save the kid from falling into their hands.
Filmed throughout New Mexico and Ohio in 2019, ‘’The Marksman’’ is directed by Robert Lorenz with an original script. Chicago-born Lorenz is known for being the Assistant Director and producer for ‘’American Sniper’’, ‘’Blood Work’’ and, ‘’Mystic River’’ along with being Second Assistant Director for a multitude of TV movies.
Set around the Mexican/American border, ‘’The Marksman’’ follows a conventional script. The generic type of story will exclude certain audiences from being interested, but at least it is somewhat different. The difference comes in the way of uniting a weathered rancher in Jim (Liam Neeson) with a young Mexican child in Miguel (Jacob Perez). It is seen too often in modern westerns and generally in films centred around this border that stereotypes are laid on thick thanks to the political situation between the countries, recent president Trump not making things much better. Still, despite the difference in how it handles a connection between the Rancher and the Mexican immigrant child, that feels like a setup for an action/thriller and not much else.
As the pair travels from New Mexico to Chicago, there just isn’t enough engaging content, there’s some run-in with a corrupt police officer and the cartel members, but nothing truly sticks and manages to keep the tension. The leader of the group of cartel members, played by Juan Pablo Raba, does great, and Neeson tends to be as endearing as he is serious, supported by Jacob Perez in this young actor’s feature film debut.
Yet actress Katheryn Winnick who has gained more and more popularity due to TV series ‘’Vikings’’ is underserved in her shallow role as Jim’s friend and police officer. It seems apparent that many of her scenes were cut as she makes some appearances without adding anything to the story and not influencing the progression.
If ‘’The Marksman’’ is anything to go by, it’s proof that Neeson will never lose his fanbase or talent, but personally, I’d say he should dip his toes into more drama-focused roles like ‘’Ordinary Love’’ and even voice acting. Since the high-intensity action and gunplay just doesn’t work anymore.
Doesn’t quite hit the mark.