In any discipline related to art, science or sport, there are characters who, due to a memorable performance, a particular event or perhaps because of their undoubted professionalism, have earned the respect and affection of millions of people in countries that they may never have heard. listen. This could well apply with Irish Liam Neeson, who on the verge of 70 years has just quickly sneaked into the top of the most viewed Netflix movies for our country. This is due to the film “El protector”, one of the films that due to the coronavirus pandemic and health restrictions (which forced dozens of cinemas to close) never reached our theaters.
In the first place, it should be said that Neeson’s work is scattered throughout the different streaming networks that already offer services in Latin America. On Netflix and on Prime Video we can find, for example, “Without Stops”, a tape in which the Irishman plays an agent with alcohol-related problems who, in the middle of a commercial flight, must risk his life to save the elderly number of people in an attack. For its part, in Star +, the complete saga of “Relentless search”, A trio of films released between 2008 and 2014 that made ‘Brian Mills’ one of the most iconic ‘heroes without a cape’ in contemporary cinema. Finally, in Disney + is his remembered appearance in the Star Wars saga, when with his lightsaber and his wise advice, he looked like Qui-Gon Jinn.
Perhaps the fact that this imprint of ‘Brian Mills’ has been indelible for many of his followers, Liam Neeson has subsequently taken several close or similar roles. In “A Night to Survive” (2015), for example, his Jimmy Conlon character was not a retired agent, but a kind of hired thug of Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) who saved his son from a deadly revenge you must kill your boss. Four years later, in “Cold Pursuit / Revenge below zero”, he plays Nelson Coxman, a snowplow who, to avenge the death of his first-born son, destroys a drug cartel, with all that that may imply.
Thirteen years after that first installment of “Relentless Search” Liam Neeson is not the same. Not only have his reflexes changed, but he’s also aged. That is why demanding tapes of this type from him would be illogical even for the most fanatic. The alternative would then be to see him interpret minor alterations of the beloved ‘Brian Mills’. And this most likely happens in “The Protector.” Here the plot of the film is as simple as its development: a retired marine and now a rancher in Arizona finds himself on the path of a Mexican boy who is orphaned after trying to cross the US border. His mission will be: to protect him from a narco revenge.
If in some of Neeson’s most emblematic films, he had to face real armies of hitmen, corrupt policemen or armed fundamentalists, this time the nucleus focuses on Jim (Liam Neeson), the boy Miguel (Jacob Pérez) and four narcos unscrupulous who follow him along the road between the border with Mexico and Chicago. There are few characters that accompany the protagonist from the beginning of the story: his daughter, a border agent, and the memory of his deceased wife. Along these lines, we are facing a typical story of persecution and survival.
While he’s definitely not a guy who’s willing to beat up with just anyone, this aging ex-marine with little to lose is willing to frown and aim his shotgun sight well to save the life of that boy who made him discover that loneliness is not something exclusive to the elderly.
“The Protector” is by no means the best Liam Neeson movie. He is most likely in the lowest part of an imaginary ranking of his career, but it is confirmation that even over the years, this actor was born to be the modern hero who even before the pandemic made us pay the tickets to the movies once or twice a year and that, today, is able to climb the most watched of our streaming service with an ease that other young Hollywood talents would surely envy.
Original title: “The Marksman”.
Synopsis: An ex-marine and rancher from Arizona leaves a bloody trail when he becomes the protector of a young boy on the run from murderous drug dealers.
Duration: 1 hour and 47 minutes
Directors: Robert Lorenz
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