Matt Montada’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Marksman is one of those films that feels like the filmmakers felt afraid to take any risks. Every single aspect of the filmmaking in this movie feels safe and even incompetent at times.
The script feels like it was written by a high school (or even middle school) student who has no experience in filmmaking and had a friend write it for him in less than a week. Literally anyone can write dialogue, plot points, and action scenes the way they are written in this movie, but can pull it off 10 times better. Speaking of which, the action scenes are dull and completely devoid of any suspense, tension, or urgency.
This film is also laughable from a storytelling perspective. Every attempt at an emotional beat falls flat on its face due to all of them having no real buildup whatsoever, thus resulting in none of them feeling like a satisfying payoff.
The acting is also terrible with Liam Neeson playing the same character that he plays in almost every movie he’s in, which makes for a not very versatile actor in my eyes. However, it’s Jacob Perez (as the kid) that i found to be the worst actor in the entire movie. Every attempt at authenticity, emotion, and passion in his performance blows up in his face due to how forced and unnatural his entire performance felt.
The story is literally just Logan all over again, but without a single ounce of that film’s brilliance in terms of both its storytelling and its amount of emotional and thematic weight, tension, and resonance.
If there was one thing i would complement about the movie, it would be the cinematography. There were a couple of shots here and there that i found to be rather nice to look at. At the same time though, literally ANYONE IN THE WORLD can create a shot of the character’s riding off in the sunset or a look at the city at nighttime and not only make it look good, but also make it mean something from a storytelling perspective. So while i do like the cinematography at times, it’s in a sense where the shots mean nothing despite how nice they are to look at.
2021 is off to rough start for cinema, and The Marksman signifies it perfectly. Let’s hope this is only because we’re in January, which is the month where movies go to die.