Blu-ray Review The Marksman, The Marksman (2021)
Actor Liam Neeson (Schindler’s list) has a particular set of skills… He can scowl with the best of them, he can expertly master a gun, and he can threaten a villain with a gritty voice and threatening sound. He’s made a career, more often than not, portraying these types of characters and generally does a good job of it. So when a film titled The sniper happens, it’s no surprise that the film stars Neeson as a former Marine Corps soldier. With a budget of over $ 23 million, it grossed less than that in theaters, but it might make some cash when it hits stores on Blu-ray this week.
Miguel (Jacob Perez; Willy goes back!) and his mother, Rosa (Teresa Ruiz; Narcos: Mexico) desperately want to cross the border after Rosa’s brother called her and told her to leave so the drug cartel couldn’t make an example of her. However, while crawling through a hole in the fence, they are seen and stopped by Jim (Neeson) who lives on the Mexico-United States border in Arizona.
As Jim tries to hold them back until the Border Patrol arrives, the Cartel shows up and asks Jim to hand them over. When Jim refuses, the cartel starts shooting and Jim, Miquel and Rosa escape in Jim’s old van. Soon after, Jim finds out that Rosa has been fatally shot, and just before dying, Rosa begs Jim to take Miguel to his family in Chicago. So begins a cat-and-mouse game as the Cartel follows Jim and Miguel through several states on their way to Illinois.
As mentioned, Neeson plays this type of character well and his portrayal of the former silent marine sniper, the Lone Widower is pretty perfect. He is serious and down to earth and does not often show his anger. Despite being young, Perez does a very good job and has a promising acting career ahead of him. Juan Pablo Raba (The 33) who is chosen as Mauricio, the leader of the cartel group that comes after Rosa and Miguel, comes across as heartless and cruel.
Director Robert Lorenz (Problems with the curve) balances close-up scenes with several massive landscape moments giving the audience the contrast between the small details and the (literally) bigger picture. It keeps the flow of the movie going at a good pace for the most part.
1080p video resolution is decent and helps audiences capture the massive nature of the countryside in the southern region of the United States. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 has clarity and crispness everywhere, from dialogue to ambient sounds / gunshots. The biggest disappointment in this combo pack is the only supplement that is included. The eight-minute making-of features decent interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes footage.
The biggest problem with The sniper is that this is a paint by numbers film and is very formulated / ordinary. Neeson breaks some of the monotony with his strong performance, but there’s nothing in the movie that hasn’t been seen / done before. The best way to describe the movie is probably ‘mundane’ which is definitely not what you would expect from any movie, let alone Action / Drama / Thriller.
It’s a movie you’ve probably seen before, and I can’t even suggest buying the combo pack for the extras, because there’s only one!
I wish I could recommend The sniper but unfortunately that ends up falling short.