The Marksman

One of the best thing said about Liam Neeson is he’s dependable. Even if one of his films might not be the greatest, you know he will give the best performance he can. His stoic presence has elevated the most substandard material. His firm delivery of dialogue and his slinky moves in many action films have seen his career surge in recent years. ‘The Marksman’ is more of the same. That’s not much of a negative, as his latest action flick delivers the goods with Neeson’s usual steely gaze working overtime.

Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) is a rancher patrolling the Arizona border. Although still grieving the recent death of his wife, he continues to go about his job with expert proficiency. His skills come in handy when he meets young Mexican boy Maurico (Juan Pablo Raba). Fleeing a cartel of assassins who have followed him to the U.S., Maurico desperately needs help. Stepping in to protect the boy, Hanson sets plans in motion to defeat those daring to cross his well-trodden path.

‘The Marksman’ offers Neeson a rare chance in stepping out of his comfort zone. His character isn’t one you can warm to, with his embittered view of life affecting his judgement. Hanson is a man who makes mistakes but Maurico’s presence potentially softens his hard edge. Neeson does a fine job in conveying his character’s world-weary views, making the predictable story engaging. His co-stars with somewhat under-written roles try to rise above the clunky script.

Robert Lorenz directs ‘The Marksman’ with a good eye for action. What he lacks in developing characters, he gains in moving the story along and making the most of the gritty stunt-work. The cinematography exposes Arizona’s dusty plains, almost playing like an urban Western. There’s not more that can be said with ‘The Marksman’ not offering much except for Neeson’s performance and explosive set-pieces.

A mid-range offering in his film catalogue, ‘The Marksman’ is a serviceable Liam Neeson starrer. If you don’t go into it expecting much then you won’t be disappointed. It thrills in the right places and does the job with Neeson’s reliability in delivering a diverting movie intact.

Rating out of 10: 6


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