Jim Hanson’s quiet life is suddenly disturbed by two people crossing the US/Mexico border – a woman and her young son – desperate to flee a Mexican cartel. After a shootout leaves the mother dead, Jim becomes the boy’s reluctant defender. He embraces his role as Miguel’s protector and will stop at nothing to get him to safety, as they go on the run from the relentless assassins.
Liam Neeson is back in “The Marksman” and despite some flaws; the film provides what his fans want and is an engaging and topical film.
Neeson plays Jim; a widower who spends his time on a tiny and struggling ranch in Arizona near the border. Jim is facing foreclosure from the bank after dealing with devastating medical bills for his late wife and feels that as a former Marine he has been given a bad deal by the system.
Jim often drives along the border fence and radios in suspected crossings but is willing to provide aid to those who finds in distress.
When Jim encounters a young woman and her son Miguel (Jacob Perez); he is drawn into conflict when they are pursued by some dangerous people which forces Jim to shoot when weapons are drawn killing one of the group in the process as well as the boy’s mother.
Jim turns the boy over to the Border Patrol where his daughter Sarah (Katheryn Winnick), is in charge of the local office and is concerned when he learns the boy is to be sent back to family. Seeing the individuals he had previously had a gunfight with waiting for Miguel to cross; Jim decides to honor the dying wish of Miguel’s mother to take him to family in Chicago; even when that means abducting Miguel from custody.
The trip not only puts Jim at odds with his daughter but as well as Miguel who wants to return home and causes the dangerous individuals to cross into the U.S. to ruthlessly track Jim and Miguel to exact their revenge.
The film moves at a steady and deliberate pace until the finale gives fans a taste of the action that they would come to expect. It does take some patience as I saw numerous opportunities for a person of Jim’s skill to attempt to set an ambush, trap, or counter the dangers facing them but the final resolutions are enjoyable and satisfying.
While the film does not have the action and intensity of some of Neeson’s recent works; it does provide enough entertainment to make it worth a watch and does contain content based on some very volatile and controversial topics which would spur intense debate.
3 stars out of 5
Sculptor Media, Zero Gravity Management, Azil Films, Cutting Edge Group, Raven Capital Management, Stonehouse Motion Pictures, Voltage Pictures, Open Road Films, Briarcliff Entertainment by Robert Lorenz, Chris Charles, Danny Kravitz.
Stars: Katheryn Winnick, Liam Neeson, Teresa Ruiz.
Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
Keywords: mexico assassin war veteran usa–mexico border murder drug cartel farmer dead dog road movie mother murder
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