The plight of every actor’s career is being typecasted. Rachel McAdams has played the romantic interest of a man who time travels in three separate productions. Sean Bean is the dude who constantly bites the dust prematurely. Seth Rogen slides very naturally into the role of stoner dropkick. And ever since the release of Taken over a decade ago, Liam Neeson has almost exclusively portrayed variations of the grizzled former military/intelligence operative/tough guy archetype who’s risking his hip by moving way too much for someone their age during action sequences (nothing 15 camera cuts in 6 seconds for a single fence climb can’t hide though, right?). Grizzled former [insert noun here], however, is what Neeson will once again play in the trite yet proven format that is The Marksman.
Appropriately enough, this upcoming film shares the same title as the direct-to-video Wesley Snipes joint from 2005. Without even describing the film, you could probably hazard an extremely accurate guess about what this cinematic milestone will involve. But for the sake of padding out the word count, I’ll break it down for you anyway. Bringing the character of “hardened Arizona rancher” slash former Marine sniper Jim Hanson to life, Neeson will snarl his way through the following delicately crafted lines in a strange Northern Irish-bastardised American hybrid accent:
- “I don’t scare easy.”
- “You’re not safe here.”
- and my personal favourite, “I was in the Marine Corps… so I suggest y’all turn around and adios.”
As per the Liam Neeson template, Jim Hanson’s world is turned upside down when he witnesses a young immigrant boy and his mother fleeing from drug cartel assassins. When the cartel guns down the boy’s mother in cold blood, old mate Jim does the noble thing by taking the wee lad under his wing and offering him protection. A bloody pursuit ensues as the newly-formed dynamic duo of senior citizen and 11-year-old child make their escape. Also, Jim has a daughter who just so happens to be a police officer, because why not? I’ll give you three guesses to figure out who might step in at the very last minute to provide some much-needed shell-cased intervention.
The Marksman has been directed by long-time Clint Eastwood collaborator, Robert Lorenz, meaning he has a wealth of experience working with codgers who should maybe hang it up for the sake of their health and general well-being. Believe it or not, the screenplay has taken three people to accomplish; in addition to Lorenz, we have Chris Charles and Danny Kravitz.
The Marksman is scheduled hit theatres on January 22nd next year.