Liam Neeson has been on this bizarre run of action thrillers for nearly two decades now. Some of them work, most of them don't. They're all pretty much carbon copies of Taken, plus a little something different to help them stand out. Non-Stop, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Run All Night, Cold Pursuit, and now The Marksman are all basically the same movie with a different coat of paint. But people seem to like that, and I admit it does have its moments. The Marksman is fairly generic and predictable, though it does have its moments of sincerity from time to time. Neeson is always great to watch, but the supporting cast is never utilized as well as they could be, and the villains are incredibly dull.
Neeson plays Jim Hanson, a retired ex-Marine who helps patrol the Arizona/Mexico border and is in danger of losing his ranch to the bank. One day, he stumbles onto a mother and her son escaping cartel gangsters. He tries to protect them, but the mother is killed and Jim himself is marked for death by the cartel. Against his better judgment, Jim makes a promise to the dying woman that he will get her son Miguel (Perez) to his family in Chicago. Jim and Miguel head to Chicago with the cartel on their trail. Neeson and Perez work well together, but the threat never seems that genuine. It's three guys at the most and they're all easily dispatched. I felt the stakes could've been much higher.
The Marksman isn't a bad movie. It's entertaining and memorable. But it could've been much better. It suffers from a lack of imagination, as do a lot of Neeson's action flicks. But at this point, you know what you're getting into with his films. A cop/soldier/marshal is estranged from his family and faces off against terrorists/cartel guys/gangsters. Insert supporting actors here. Rinse and repeat.