HOT RELEASE NEWS / MINI-REVIEW / FRAME SHOTS
Liam Neeson plays ex-Marine and hardened Arizona rancher Jim Hanson, who takes aim at a coyote attacking one of his smaller cows.
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Blu-ray, Digital copy; 2021; PG-13 violence, some bloody images and brief strong language; streaming via Amazon Prime Video, Apple, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Movies Anywhere, Vudu, YouTube
Best extra: an eight-minute featurette “The Making of The Marksman”
ALONG THE Mexico and U.S. border, hardened Arizona rancher Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) wants to be left alone after the death of his wife. He spends much of his time trying to fend off coyotes attacking his skinny cows, while creditors circle since he fell behind with the mortgage during his wife’s illness.
Driving his dusty Ford pickup along the border fence, he nearly runs over a young boy Miguel (Jabob Perez), who just crossed the border with his mother Rosa (Teresa Ruiz), who injured her leg on the fence. The two are on the run from the cartel, who plan to kill both. Hanson has a two-way radio to the U.S. Border Patrol since his step-daughter Sarah Reynolds (Katheryn Winnick) is an officer, and gives them tips when the latest “I.A’s” make it into the country.
The mother dies and the border police are about to send Miguel back to Mexico, where the cartel soldiers are waiting. Hanson grabs the boy and heads to Chicago where Rosa’s family lives. As expected the cartel is on the hot pursuit, causing a number of casualties along the way.
(1) Hanson driving his pickup through the backcountry of Arizona. (2) Hanson takes down his American flag. (3) Step-daughter Sarah Reynolds (Katheryn Winnick) finds Hanson at a local bar, as he contemplates his financial situation.
Co-writer/director Robert Lorenz, a longtime assistant director for Clint Eastwood, helms “The Marksman,” with much of the production filmed in New Mexico and Ohio subbing for the Midwest and Chicago.
Mastered in 2K, it’s sourced from Arri Alex Mini 2.8K digital cameras (2.39:1 aspect ratio) and surprisingly with no upconverted 4K/HDR presentation made available for digital platforms or physical disc. Overall sharpness and color palette are solid, while the contrast levels are limited within the standard dynamic range. The highlights and mid-tones suffer the most without HDR grading. In some shots, a post-production film grain filter was applied.
The disc features a six-channel DTS-HD soundtrack with plenty of gun blast effects bouncing around the room and the simple score by Sean Callery, who’s spent most of his career working on TV series (“24”).
(1) A border coyote takes Rosa (Teresa Ruiz) and her son Miguel (Jabob Perez) toward the U.S. border. (3) Rosa, Miguel, and Hanson are confronted by the cartel soldiers. (4) Hanson and the mother and son escape the gun battle.