The Minuteman (2018)

The Marksman is a movie starring Katheryn Winnick, Liam Neeson, and Teresa Ruiz. A rancher on the Arizona border becomes the unlikely defender of a young Mexican boy desperately fleeing the cartel assassins who've pursued him into...
  • 5.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Chris Charles, Danny Kravitz, Writer:
  • Robert Lorenz, Director:
  • Tai Duncan, Eric Gold, Warren Goz, Mark Williams, Producer:

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Trailer:

5 / 10

Less of an action film and more of a bland, road-trip style drama

My love for Liam Neeson knows no bounds - no matter how many mediocre movies he stars in, I will always watch the next one, in hopes that maybe my expectations will be subverted and I will be treated to a good film. Unfortunately, in the last few years, Mr. Neeson has starred in a string of mediocre movies. "Taken 3" is bad beyond description, mainly due to its atrocious editing style. "Cold Pursuit" attempted to go the dark comedy route, and in my opinion, missed its mark. "Honest Thief" was painfully banal, filled with stilted acting and a noticeable lack of action. And now we have "The Marksman," another entry in the mediocre Liam Neeson movie genre.

"The Marksman" is less of an action thriller and more of a drama, and that's not inherently bad. However, the movie boasts an astounding lack of suspense and tension throughout, plodding along from scene to scene until the inevitable final confrontation - which to the film's credit, is exciting. However, before you have the pleasure of watching that, you have to sit through a long, slow, road-trip style adventure, that lacks any type of thrill. Sure, you'll find one or two intermittent "action" scenes during the course of the movie, but these scenes barely contain any worthwhile action. There is a poorly filmed fistfight that lasts about 10 seconds, as well as a mild getaway type of scenario that our hero has to escape from, and that's about it.

Because of its lack of action, the main draw of "The Marksman" is its actors, namely Liam Neeson and Jacob Perez. Liam Neeson is good with what the script has him do, and I enjoyed his character. A previous member of the Marine Corp, Liam's character, Jim, struggles with alcohol, and is unapologetically atheist, which I found interesting for a character in a mainstream film. While I was originally opposed to watching a movie with a child actor in it, because of how bad child actors usually are, Jacob Perez was, to my surprise, pretty good. He could pull off emotion when he needed to, but mostly he was likeable, and it was enjoyable to watch him and Liam interact. There was some good comedy throughout, and some interesting conversations between the two characters, but that leads me into some more negatives.

Unfortunately, for a movie that is so dialogue heavy, a lot of the dialogue was very boring. There were so many opportunities for the characters to argue or engage in a verbal battle because of their own respective beliefs and morals, but the script took the easy way out it seems, instead employing a large use of exposition. Additionally, for a movie that takes place on the road, it doesn't look very good. The cinematography and directing is very basic, almost as if this was originally a made for television film that at the last minute the studios decided to release in theatres.

When the action starts, it is exciting, specifically the battle at the end. Liam pulls off some badass moves, and he puts his rifle to work. However, at this point the movie was too little, too late, and I was so disengaged that I was more looking forward for it to end. In case it wasn't clear - I still love Liam Neeson, and I'll never stop watching his movies. However, at the end of "The Marksman," I almost found myself asking if I should even bother anymore.

7 / 10

Amateur production...

...and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But what disappoints me here is that there were three amateur writers, with this film as their first ever writing credit (Chris Charles, Danny Kravitz and Robert Lorenz - who also directed), and I wish they'd consulted a seasoned writer - and making a point to tell that writer that Liam Neeson was the lead.

For their first writing credit, it wasn't that bad, but the 108 min runtime wasn't used effectively. It either needed to be trimmed down to about 80 mins - for the current story and pacing, or (and I would've preferred this) fill those minutes with more action and suspense. And that's not even considering Neeson was cast, and we all know we crave his action. So not getting that action, was a huge let down. Even the title of this film, only fills 5 minutes of the 108, and that's pretty sad - and a waste. There were a few plot and technical issues, as well as some content that should've been omitted i.e. bank issues, especially how that bonfire was fueled (without giving away any spoilers), which in my opinion was dumb.

This was also Lorenz's 2nd directing credit, and considering that, his work was impressive. The scenes were fluid, camera work on point, and it seemed the cast had great direction from him. The cinematography and score were also decent. It's a recommended watch - because of Neeson, but I wouldn't see it again, and probably forget about it down the road. It's a 7/10 from me.

2 / 10

Don't waste your money

The Marksmen is clearly a mere political stab at Trumps border policies in a poor attempt to get the audience to feel sympathy for illegal immigrants. It lacks any real substance and the storyline goes absolutely nowhere. The characters all provide nothing to relate or feel emotion towards with almost every line being bland and/or cliche. Don't waste your money or time on this poor excuse of a movie.

6 / 10

Watching a movie on rewind.

Something similar has already been met, nothing new.Respect for Liam Neeson, 6/10

6 / 10

The Marksman (2021)

The Marksman is an action-thriller co-writtenand directed by Robert Lorenz. He is best knownfor his collaborations with Clint Eastwood as assistant director and producer in iconic films such as Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River and American Sniper. This is his second feature-length film to date. The plot follows a former marine-turned-rancher named Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) who stumbles upon Rosa and Miguel, a mother and a son who are being hunted by cartel assassins along the Arizona-Mexican border. Thus he brings it on himselfto stage an intervention. The narrative is reminiscentto Road to Perdition and Logan where the titularcharacter forms an eventual bond with a youth in danger.But I would recommend that you watch those filmsinstead as you will receive far more satisfaction as opposed to The Marksman which is a pretty forgettable film,in my opinion. The storyline is straightforward, predictable, and as clichéd as it sounds. It contained recycled material that we've witnessed over the years and it's the reason whyI would not advise anyone to consume their precious time with this film. Only if you are an avid follower of Liam Neeson's filmography and you personally enjoy seeing him in these action-fueled roles which is still astonishing to me given his age. The actor clearly has more fight in him before he decides to hang up the boxing gloves.He was only the benefactor for this experience as thefilm lacks many redeeming qualities. Especially with the selling point for this film which is the relationship between Jim Hansen and Miguel. I didn't fully accept it as their characters weren't fleshed out enough, and that same issue contributed to my dissatisfaction with the supporting cast members as well as their uninspiring performances.This isn't the worst of film of the new year.But it isn't an exceptional one by any means.

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