There’s nothing like a good Liam Nesson flick to kickoff a new year!

Directed by Robert Lorenz, The Marksman follows Arizona rancher Jim (Liam Neeson). Jim never sees a dull day thanks to his location -lodged along the Mexico border- and for the most part, lives a pretty simple life. His simplistic way of life is thrown into ruin after he comes across a mother and son who crossed illegally. Fleeing from cartel assassins, the pair seek help from Jim, who reluctantly accepts, setting off a series of events that would change their lives forever.

The film relies heavily on suspense, which it does indeed deliver, but outside of that, it’s pretty dry. The handling of aliens, border crossing, and human rights may trigger some, along with the white savior elements sprinkled in there. Neeson doesn’t go full Clint Eastwood but the ‘tough guy’ persona is definitely on display.

Miguel, played by Jacob Perez, did an excellent job in the film. The young actor established a solid on-screen rapport with Neeson which made for a great story. There were a lot of cliches and even a handful of scenes with bad execution (the worst was Miguel’s mother Rosa trying to cross the fence), but the dynamic between Jim and Miguel saves the day.

If Taken was in the desert and the goal was to actually ‘take’ someone (away) instead of finding the missing person, it’d be Taken in the Southwest.

I give The Marksman a 7 out of 10. This film has a lot going on, and by a lot, that’s addressing immigration, apathy, cancer, death, and with a film titled “The Marksman” you should expect a load of gun violence. This is definitely a film you can wait to stream after its theatre run.

-Jon J.

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