Director: Robert Lorenz
Cast: Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Juan Pablo Raba
Release Date: May 11, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Ex-Marine and hardened Arizona rancher Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) simply wants to be left alone as he tries to make a living on an isolated stretch of borderland. But everything changes when he witnesses 11-year-old migrant Miguel and his mother fleeing from a band of assassins sent by a ruthless drug cartel. After being caught in a shootout, Miguel’s mother begs Jim to take her son to the safety of their family in Chicago. Defying law enforcement, Jim and Miguel hit the road and slowly begin to forge an unlikely friendship while the cartel’s relentless assassins blaze a bloody trail, hot on their heels.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘The Marksman’ accompanies ex-Marine turned Arizona rancher Jim Hanson (Neeson) who finds his life upturned when he comes across a woman and her child attempting to cross the border in order to escape from deadly cartel soldiers who want them dead. But when Jim takes it upon himself to thwart the soldiers from taking the two and the woman is shot during the confrontation he must decide whether to leave matters to the authorities or keep his promise to the boy’s mother and take him to extended family in Chicago. But choosing to do the right thing might be far more dangerous than he had anticipated, especially once he begins to realize the caliber of people hunting them down.
Directed by Robert Lorenz (Trouble with the Curve) from a screenplay he also co-wrote in addition to Chris Charles and Danny Kravitz, Lorenz does a quite capable job at the helm of ‘The Marksman’ guiding along the tale with care while beautifully capturing the surroundings and scenery throughout. The film stars Liam Neeson (Honest Thief, Taken) along with Katheryn Winnick (TV’s Big Sky), Juan Pablo Raba (Peppermint), Teresa Ruiz (TV’s Narcos: Mexico) and more, with most each offering capable enough, if not at least fitting performances in their respective roles overall.
‘The Marksman’ is an enjoyable, yet fairly generic action outing featuring Liam Neeson with enough action, tension and heart to keep fans excited for what might come next (even if it’s pretty easy to guess much of the time). For the most part it’s your standard ‘angered man who takes matters into his own hands to save and/or protect’ formula that Neeson masters so easily, layered with plenty of action and tense moments sprinkled throughout. Perhaps most surprising is how much care is put into the clashing, yet friendly relationship that builds between our hero and child which often takes priority over the random action; both for better or worse at times. Altogether it finds a competent enough balance to allow for a consistently fun little adventure that should hold your interest easily enough along the way. I would encourage any diehard Liam Neeson fans along with anyone that appreciates a fairly by the book (but no less entertaining for it) action drama with some heart at its core to give ‘The Marksman’ a shot whenever you have the chance. It should also make a nice selection for an easygoing movie night at home when you simply want to kick back and relax with something that doesn’t require too much concentration or brain power to follow and enjoy.
Overall, ‘The Marksman’ is a fun and mostly by the book action thriller that caters to Neeson’s typical irked man on a mission to either protect or find vengeance. It offers up the usual action packed fun and tension of the star’s vehicles although unlike many of them it actually takes some time to develop the characters and the main relationship within, even if perhaps a tad too much at times. ‘The Marksman’ is recommended both for fans of Liam Neeson’s action outings and those that enjoy the standard action adventure flick that never excels to anything outstanding but also has no trouble keeping you entertained from start to finish. If nothing else ‘The Marksman’ will probably be worthy of a couple hours of your time and the price of a rental on a lazy weekend at home.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Marksman’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great altogether and provides a smooth, sharp and often vibrantly colored presentation that does a great job of capturing the gorgeous landscapes as well as the more generic settings. It holds up admirably even during the various darkly lit and fast moving moments and never allows anything onscreen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty gorgeous high definition video presentation that should easily please fans of the film and newcomers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes a welcome compliment to the onscreen action and tension, offering a clean and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to send everything from music and nature elements to gunshots and vehicle activity zipping throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is an enjoyable and quite solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes nicely to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Marksman’ includes one extra; the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘The Making of The Marksman’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length) which explores various elements of bringing the film to life and features interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 5.5/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
‘The Marksman’ Arrives on Blu-ray & DVD May 11, 2021 & is Now Available on Digital from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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