I’d seen some online chatter the latest Liam Neeson thriller “The Marksman” takes place rather prominently on Route 66.
Here’s the trailer:
I haven’t seen the movie yet, since it just came out Friday and New Mexico theaters aren’t open yet because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Wikipedia lists Route 66 in the plot:
Retired U.S. Marine Jim Hanson lives along the Arizona-Mexico border, reporting attempted illegal crossings. One day while on patrol he encounters Rosa and her son Miguel, Mexican citizens on the run from the cartel. After a shootout with several cartel members led by Maurico, Rosa is killed and Hanson reluctantly agrees to take Miguel to his family in Chicago.
After Hanson uses his credit card to repair his truck, Maurico tracks the pair to Route 66 in Oklahoma. After nearly getting caught and turned over to Maurico by a corrupt police officer, Hanson and Miguel continue to make their way north. Despite Hanson’s personal lack of faith, they stop at a church so that Miguel can have a proper send-off for Rosa.
The movie ends in the Route 66 eastern terminus city of Chicago, as the trailer makes clear.
Whether the film actually was shot on Route 66 remains doubtful. The IMDB.com listing for “The Marksman” lists a half-dozen places in Ohio — which never was on Route 66 — and a couple of places in New Mexico, which is. One of the New Mexico filming locations is Belen, which is 30 miles south of Albuquerque and isn’t on Route 66, either.
“The Marksman” has just a 32% rating from critics on RottenTomatoes.com, which is pretty bad, although audiences give it a decent 89% rating.
I’ll let Jonathan W. Hickman of the Newnan Times-Herald (and a certified Rotten Tomatoes critic) have the last word about the film’s alleged Route 66 connection:
Finally, by making a road picture that took his characters from Arizona to Illinois, partially along Route 66, there was an opportunity to show viewers a bit of the countryside.
Sadly, Lorenz and his other two writers, Chris Charles and Danny Kravitz, have little interest in anything aside from rushing Mauricio and Jim together in a pitched battle at a random location. The trip itself doesn’t have much life to it, as we get little context of where Jim and Miguel are, aside from the offhand references to a map.
Where’s the world’s second largest rocking chair, the whale of Catoosa, the Blue Swallow Motel or even an artful shot of the painted Route 66 sign on the road? Maybe I missed something, but Googling things to see along Route 66 is more interesting than “The Marksman.”
(Screen-capture image of Liam Neeson from “The Marksman” movie trailer)