THE MARKSMAN Is a Well-Acted Thriller With Christian Elements, But …
By Movieguide® Staff
Editor’s note: This is a portion of our review for THE MARKSMAN. For the full review, please click here.
THE MARKSMAN stars Liam Neeson as an Arizona rancher and former Marine who helps a young Mexican boy escape the drug cartel thugs who murdered the boy’s mother. THE MARKSMAN is a suspenseful, emotional thriller with positive Christian, redemptive content, but some strong foul language and violence warrant strong caution for viewers.
Jim Hanson is a recently widowed Arizona rancher and former Marine. He’s been left with a lot of debts after the illness and death of his beloved wife. In fact, the bank wants to take his house if he can’t come up with six months of late mortgage payments.
Jim and his faithful dog, Jackson, ride out in his truck to check on his cows. After shooting a coyote that killed one of his cows, Jim finds a Mexican mother, Rosa, and her young son, Miguel, illegally crossing the border into the United States. They’re running from a drug cartel because the woman’s brother has stolen money from the cartel. In going through the hole in the fence, Rosa has cut her leg and needs medical attention, but she says the authorities will just send them back to Mexico. Where she and Miguel face certain death.
Just then, some members of the cartel, led by a bald thug named Mauricio, exit a vehicle that’s just pulled up. Mauricio and his thugs have just killed Rosa’s brother back in Mexico. Mauricio demands that Jim give Rosa and Miguel to him, but Jim is holding his rifle and refuses. A shootout ensues where Jim kills one of the thugs and wounds another. However, Rosa is shot in the stomach. Mauricio flees with his wounded compatriot and another man, but Rosa is dying. Rosa tells Jim she’ll give him everything she owns if he’ll take her son to safety, to her sister’s house in Chicago. She gives him a slip of paper with the address. Jim vaguely promises he’ll do what he can.
However, Jim has to report the mother’s death to the Border Patrol. At the local Border Patrol’s headquarters on the border, Jim sees Mauricio has brought more gang members in the same vehicle just outside the border fence. He’s also found that Rosa’s purse contains stacks of money, just enough to keep his house for another six months or more. So, he decides to sneak Miguel out of the station. They stop at Jim’s house to pick up some clothes, Jim’s handgun and more ammunition for his rifle.
However, the drug cartel has been bribing someone in the Border Patrol. He tells them where Jim lives. Mauricio and his men show up too late to catch Jim and Miguel, but they torch Jim’s house.
Meanwhile, Jim’s stepdaughter, Sarah, who works in the Border Patrol, tries to get Jim to return with Miguel. Jim explains the situation, but when she tells him his house has been torched, Jim figures the cartel must have bribed someone in the Border Patrol. So, he refuses to tell Sarah where he is.
Mauricio is able to get the license plate number of Jim’s truck. This allows the drug cartel to follow Jim’s credit card purchases without his knowledge. It’s only a matter of time, therefore, before Mauricio and his men catch up with Jim and Miguel. However, Jim still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
THE MARKSMAN is a suspenseful, emotional, well-acted thriller with positive Christian, redemptive content. The movie opens on a Jesus statue outside Miguel’s home in Mexico. A necklace with a gold chain and red beads is draped over the head of Jesus. Miguel also carries a Catholic rosary with a Jesus pendant with him. At one point, Jim and Miguel get help from a church pastor. Finally, although Jim tells Miguel he doesn’t believe in an afterlife, or a Heaven, by the end of the movie, he’s telling Miguel that his mother is watching over him from Heaven. So, Jim, played by Liam Neeson, has a nice character arc as the emotional bond between him and Miguel gets stronger. In fact, Jim eventually agrees with Miguel to burn the money in his mother’s purse. After all, it was the stolen money that led to his mother’s death. Though he was born in Northern Ireland, Liam Neeson has lately become a true American hero in a series of Hollywood movies, including THE MARKSMAN.
THE MARKSMAN is marred by some strong foul language and light obscenities, however. It also has several intense gun fights. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.
Watching THE MARKSMAN will make viewers want law enforcement to do much more to stop the evil drug cartels and international human trafficking. It’s way past time to clean up our cities in the United States and Mexico from these human scum. We also need better drug rehab programs to save the people who become prey to the people selling such poison. THE MARKSMAN isn’t politically correct. It doesn’t promote illegal immigration but attacks the drug cartels. They are the villains in the movie, not the Border Patrol. Thus, the movie’s sympathy for the mother and her son is mainly because the drug cartel is threatening their lives. Also, the hero makes a comment about Congress needing to do something to fix the chaos at the southern border. He doesn’t say what the solutions might be, however. So, it’s up to viewers to decide what they want their elected representatives to do (assuming there’s no massive election fraud, of course).