Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Marksman Review – IGN

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Liam Neeson’s deep, grizzled voice charisma, which served him very well as an action star later in life, isn’t quite enough to pull The Marksman out of its way. The second directorial effort of producer Robert Lorenz, who was behind most of Clint Eastwood’s 21st century films (including Gran Torino, which this film echoes in some ways), The Marksman – which uses the Neeson’s character skill with a gun far too rarely to warrant this title – is a rather mundane slice of “good guy with a gun” daddy porn. Obviously, Neeson is no stranger to film revenge, but this is his first craze with a problematic grumpy.You can see how The Marksman was crafted with an Eastwood type in mind, perhaps with Eastwood’s political leanings, but the film sidesteps the more serious issues it uses as a backdrop in order to unfold a color-by-number tale involving an old Marine teaching disrespectful punks a lesson. In this case, the Marine is the ranch of Neeson in Arizona, Jim Hanson, and the troublemakers are the cartel killers.

Hanson, whose ownership rests on the US-Mexico border, is somewhat vaguely sectarian. His temperamental nature is explained (ish) by the fact that he is recently widowed and the bank is about to seize his land, but he is still a man who is always disturbed and sidelined by Mexicans. crossing his property illegally, always reporting them to Border Patrol when he sees them. We also see Hanson needing a quick job and being in distress when denied a ditching job because of the day laborers.

Nothing is said candidly about Hanson’s biases, which is probably a wise move, but it’s also a cowardly move that works to dilute anything potentially interesting. Painting him with a large “misanthropic” brush looks like an escape when you see who exactly in the film he is irritated. We’re just winking here, with phrases like ‘if only the government would do something to fix the mess here’ and ‘the way things are now’. It all just smacks of the creators realizing, as production went on, that maybe now wasn’t the right time to make this movie.

Hanson’s dwindling life, a life of desolation, is interrupted by a Mexican mother and son who flee the Cartel assassins and end up on his ranch. In a quick skirmish with the killers, the mother is fatally wounded, the main cartel brother (Juan Pablo Raba) is eliminated, and Hanson is found reluctantly fulfilling a promise made to the late woman to take her boy, Miguel (Jacob Perez), in Chicago to be with his cousins. As payment, to prevent his land from being sold, Hanson believes he will use the cartel duffel bag the mother was carrying.

As you might expect, Hanson and Miguel bond during their long van ride across the country, and the cold rascal begins to warm up with his mate, ultimately seeing this trip as a mission of last good deed. In the end, it’s not a terrible story. It is observable, in all the weakest ways that the descriptor implies. Just because it’s not fresh doesn’t mean it can sometimes be effective. Tropes exist for a reason, as they are the easiest ways discovered to deliver emotional arcs and moral games. Of course, Neeson plays a reluctant killer here. The one who says to Miguel “there is absolutely nothing that is pleasant to kill another man”. The movie itself might disagree as the genre is designed for revenge.

The Vikings’ Katheryn Winnick is wasted here in what has become the all-too-common role of “woman on the phone,” where, as Hanson’s stepdaughter and US Border Patrol agent, she has plenty of scenes where she has to. to plead. go home and let the system handle things. What starts off as a potentially promising part fades halfway through the film and finds no closure. The film’s ending feels fair enough and dark enough, although it only reinforces the vigilantism like these types of stories usually do.

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