film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Marksman 2021 * * * Stars


"I don't scare easy". Of course you don't. You're Liam freaking Neeson. You're the butt-kicking ruler of the AARP. Neeson looking like Sean Penn's older brother with scruff and mustache in tote, stars in 2021's The Marksman.

"Marksman" is another Neeson actioner where Neeson is the antihero, preserver, and everyman all rolled into one. As something about a rancher who tries to protect a kid illegal alien from a nasty cartel, "Marksman" is veritable Neeson comfort food. You want to see him in this role, you know he can carry the proceedings, you know he looks cool handling a firearm, and you know he'll deliver a certain level of badassery. At 68 years old, Liam Neeson makes the villains (who are decades younger than him) bow down with bruised envy. All I gotta say to them is "good luck". 

So yeah, The Marksman is also assembly line Neeson. And yup, the film feels improbable with a few plot devices that might have gone AWOL. Still, there's entertainment value to be had with "Marksman" being an old, comfortable show a la the man with "a particular set of skills". In truth, "Marksman" is a savage road trip flick with inching tension, snarling thugs, and roving danger right around the corner. And oh yeah, you never mess with a broken down, former Marine who loves his guns, his steaks, his late wife, and his swigged whisky. 

"Marksman's" director (Robert Lorenz of Trouble with the Curve fame) moves things at a fast, tasty clip. Along with the insertion of a paternal relationship, there are unwanted killings, well-staged gunfights, a house burning, and a car chase or two. Lorenz fashions The Marksman as a pseudo Western combined with a version of Gran Torino that doesn't take place in one city. Bottom line: You can "mark" The Marksman as a must-see. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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