Linda Cook review: ‘The Marksman’ may not hit the spot, but it’s a decent-enough action flick

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Liam Neeson stars in the newest Clint Eastwood movie.

This is the kind of movie in which Eastwood starred for years. Now, Neeson seems to have taken up the roles of a gritty, world-weary loner, as he does again in “The Marksman.”

You will know right away, without seeing the trailer, what this movie will contain, and that’s plenty of weapons. Neeson is Jim, a rancher, a Marine Corps veteran who is having financial trouble after the lingering illness of his late wife.

One day Jim runs into a mother and son who are being followed by members of a cartel. Jim calls the border patrol, not because he’s insensitive but because it’s the law.

The situation goes from bad to worse in a hurry, and, after gunfire, Jim ends up with Miguel, the frightened boy.

Jim knows what will happen to Miguel if he is sent back to Mexico, so he decides to take the boy to Chicago, where he has family. That’s when it also embraces the road trip genre.

The cartel doesn’t stop, and Jim ends up in a flight for his life and the life of Miguel.

It’s rated PG-13, so it isn’t as gritty as it might have been with an “R” rating.

Cute dogs are placed in these movies so you’ll hate the villains even more. That happens. Does the silent boy who appears to speak only Spanish actually understand English?

See? You’re way ahead of me … and the screenplay, too.

But when isn’t Neeson entertaining? He wears his grief and his guilt on his face and posture in every scene.

It’s an average movie that will get you out of the cold and get your mind off your troubles for nearly two hours.

You, and Neeson, could do far worse.

2 out of 4 stars

Running time: One hour and 47 minutes.

Rated: PG-13 for foul language and violence.

At Cinemark, Davenport; and Palms 10, Muscatine.

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